Optical Sensing Photonic Sensors for Trace Gas Detection

Quantification of methane sources in vast and poorly accessible areas of the Arctic requires new methane sensors,which are sufficiently small to be carried by lightweight planes or drones, and at the same time sensitive enough to detect methane at atmospheric concentrations.

However, sensitivity of on-chip gas sensors is still at least 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than what is needed for applications in atmospheric monitoring and climate research. This comes as a natural consequence of miniaturization: sensitivity scales with interaction length, which is directly related to instrument size.

The aim of our research is to explore a new concept of combined chemical and spectroscopic detection for on-chip sensing of methane and carbon dioxide, potent climate forcers.