A Tiny Spectrometer that Costs 10 Bucks

Qmed Staff

December 12, 2014

1 Min Read
A Tiny Spectrometer that Costs 10 Bucks

Oakland, CA-based startup NanoLambda has devised a $10 spectrometer-on-a-chip that it says can be used for an array of medical applications. Described in sister publication EE Times, the device could be used to analyze the tongue and internal organs.

"Fusion or multi-mode sensing abilities will definitely bring the solution to next-generation healthcare," said NanoLambda CEO Bill Choi to EE Times.

It could also be used for a range of consumer-facing applications. For instance, it could be used to check to see if a carton of milk is fresh or to see whether water is safe to drink.

"Every material has its own spectral fingerprint, which means, when certain very flat white light shines on to the target material, its material absorbs light differently, making... specific patterns or shapes," Choi said. "Each filter will detect different wavelengths. Then, collectively, the sensor can figure out" the material's characteristics.

Spectroscopy is already used to monitor blood sugar as well as in pulse oximetry. Its applications could be set increase thanks to the low cost of NanoLambda's spectrometer technology, which has been made possible thanks to advances in nanoarrays resulting in a millimeter-scale chip.

The company would like to sell the spectrometer and interface software IP to companies like Samsung and Apple, which would integrate it in their products. NanoLambda plans on releasing a software developer kit in early 2015.

Read the full EE Times story here.

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