Renishaw Diagnostics Limited (RDL) has played a key role in an EU project team that recently announced the successful development of a new technology which could have significant implications for the future of photonic sensor applications. A nine member consortium, led by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the PHOTOSENS project has successfully developed mass-producible, polymer-based nanophotonic sensors that could be used in applications ranging from air contaminant identification, to the detection of melamine in milk products.
RDL is the supplier of Klarite®, the world’s leading commercially available surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrate used for the measurement of trace materials in a range of chemical and biological applications. Based on photonic sensor technology, Klarite substrates are currently manufactured by photolithographic etching of a silicon substrate. The development of a polymer based substrate, manufactured using nano-imprinting, offers the possibility of roll-to-roll substrate manufacture with the potential to reduce manufacturing time and cost significantly for high volume applications.
Dr David Eustace, Commercial Business Manager at RDL, said “The PHOTOSENS project has developed a novel and highly cost effective manufacturing method for periodic nanostructures, which form the basis of most SERS substrates. We look forward to further developments in this field to open up a new range of applications for this highly sensitive and selective analytical technique”.
The PHOTOSENS project aims to develop a low-cost, mass-manufacturable, nano-structured, large-area multi-parameter sensor array using Photonic Crystal (PC) and improved surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) methodologies for environmental and pharmaceutical applications. Integrating the PC and SERS based sensors with integrated optics coupling structures within a single sensor platform allows the implementation of a high-performance multi-parameter sensor. Currently, utilization of multi-parameter sensing is hindered by the lack of low-cost and, highly reproducibility fabrication methods for nano-structured surfaces. Further information can be found at www.photosens.eu