Technology

Insplorion's Nanoplasmonic Sensing (NPS) is a revolutionary way of getting fast, direct and distinct measurements of chemical and thermal reactions on Nano-level in or on the surface of thin films, through light absorption measurement. 

The sensors provide great value in many different fields. From advanced, comprehensive research equipment with a wide array of measurements, applications and temperature levels, to very specific sensors, measuring the NO2 level in air or the chemistry within a single battery cell. Other possible applications are, for example, more varied air quality sensors, sensors for water treatment, biochemistry, solar, hydrogen, CO2 and medical diagnostics.

Unique features

Insplorion's NanoPlasmonic Sensing (NPS) technology has quite a few unique and very useful features, which in many cases haven’t been available before, or have been available, but at a very different price level and much less versatile than the NPS technology.

Fast - The sensors are very fast (ms), because they measure such a thin layer, which means that changes in concentration are rapid.

Robust -  the Nano electrodes are protected from an aggressive environment by a dielectric layer, which makes them very useful under harsh chemical conditions, for example the corrosive environment in a battery.

Temperature insensitive – which makes the sensors useful to study processes affected by temperature as well as to study high temperature processes.

Versatile - The temperature can be varied very flexibly, and the sensors can be coated with a variety of chemistries depending on what they should measure.

Surface sensitive - The technique is extremely surface sensitive and compatible with both thin- and thick films, which provides faster response time and higher sensitivity for certain areas.

Label free – The technology is label fee, which means no coloring or tagging with radioactive isotopes, which threatens to impair the measurements result. This is very useful in protein- and life-science research.

Suitable for miniaturization -  Since the sensors are based on a Nano-level technology, they are well suited for miniaturization.

Energy effective – Because of the Nano size of the measuring technology, it is possible to add several measuring parameters to the same chip or optical fiber without increasing the size or energy demand.

Cost effective – The sensors can be manufactured in a low-price segment, which is well suited for mass production. For example, as battery sensors, which in the end could result in hundreds of million units.

Measurement Principle

The technology measures, in real-time, the refractive index change/dielectric property change of any material coated or adsorbed to the sensor surface. NanoPlasmonic Sensing exploits an optical sensing principle based on state-of-the-art nanotechnology

An array of metallic Nano sized plates on a glass surface absorbs or scatters light in certain wavelengths, when the light passes through the plasmonic sensor, resulting in a peak in an extinction spectrum. Chemical or thermal reactions in a thin layer on the surface of the sensor changes the wavelengths which are absorbed or scattered, resulting in a real time optical reading of the reactions taking place within the nanofilm.

The sensors

Insplorion’s sensors consist of noble metal nanoparticles, usually gold or silver on a glass surface. The surface can be either a glass plate (chip) or the surface of an optical fiber. 

The sensors in Insplorion’s research equipment, as well as the air quality sensors are chips, but for battery sensors, for example, the sensor is the surface of an optical fiber, where an optical splitter diverts the light into the optical fiber in the battery.

Every time the light reflects inside the optical fiber, it interacts with the Nano particles on the fiber surface, which results in an extinction spectrum of the light returning from the battery, showing the status of the battery chemistry.

Additional information

If you have a challenge where our technology might help you, contact Patrik Bjöörn, our applications engineer. at patrik.bjoorn@insplorion.com.

Download the Insplorion sensors brochure here

Download the brochure on Nanoplasmonic sensing here