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Non-dispersive liquid sensing via narrowband thermal emitters

Primary Investigators:
Josh Caldwell
Brief Description of Project:
Non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) spectroscopy can be employed to analyze the target materials based on their characteristic infrared absorption spectra. One example is to use NDIR to analyze the concentration of CO2 gas. However, in conventional NDIR gas sensors, the broadband light source and broadband detector have to pair with a bulky and costly bandpass filter to identify the target gas, such as CO2 gas. By employing a series of patterned narrowband thermal emitters (narrowband light source), NDIR gas sensing can be conducted with only a broadband detector. Previous works in Caldwell’s group have demonstrated NDIR sensing for gas (CO2) and solid (polystyrene film) using narrowband infrared emitting metamaterials, which are fabricated from thin film of doped CdO grown on patterned sapphire substrates with different emission peaks in the spectra region of interest. In this summer project, the NDIR concept will be expanded for liquid sensing utilizing the aforementioned narrowband thermal emitters and a broadband detector for different liquids and concentrations. Participating student will be conducting liquid sensing experiments using the NDIR setup and the optical characterizing equipment in Caldwell’s group and working closely with a graduate student and the faculty advisor. This project will provide an understanding of NDIR applications, as well as basic infrared characterization techniques.

Desired Qualifications:
Student should have basic understanding of spectroscopic methods, with a background in chemistry, physics or engineering. Interest in optics and infrared spectroscopy would be beneficial.
Nature of Supervision:
Student will be directly supervised by fourth year graduate student Guanyu Lu and PI Josh Caldwell.
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
Work to understand basic concepts of nanophotonic thermal emitters
Characterize spectral and spatial response of thermal emitter designs
Employ thermal emitter for chemical sensing of simple molecules of interest using existing tools
Number of Open Slots: 1
Contact Information:
Name: Joshua Caldwell
Department: Mechanical Engineering