Paper by Karl Leo published in journal Advanced Materials
A team of physicists and chemists from the TU Dresden, including Hector Fellow Karl Leo, director of the Institute of Applied Physics (IAP) and the Integrated Center for Applied Physics and Photonic Materials (IAPP), present an organic thin-film sensor that can be used for light source analysis and anti-counterfeiting applications. It describes a completely new way of wavelength identification of light and one achieves a spectral resolution below one nanometer. As integrated devices, the thin-film sensors could eliminate the need for external spectrometers in the future. The thin-film wavelength sensor has the advantage of being smaller and less expensive than commercial spectrometers.
Spectroscopy comprises a group of experimental techniques to decompose radiation according to a specific property, such as wavelength or mass. It is considered one of the most important analytical methods in research and industry. Spectrometers can determine colors (wavelengths) of light sources and are used as sensors in various applications such as medicine, engineering, food industry and many more. Commercially available instruments are usually relatively large and very expensive. They are mostly based on the principle of prism or grating: light is refracted and the wavelength is assigned according to the angle of refraction. Due to its small size and cost, the new organic thin-film sensor has clear advantages over commercially available spectrometers. "In addition to characterizing light sources, the novel sensors can be used in anti-counterfeiting: The small and inexpensive sensors could be used, for example, to quickly and reliably check banknotes or documents for certain security features and thus determine their authenticity, without the need for expensive laboratory technology," explains Anton Kirch, doctoral researcher of the Institute of Applied Physics (IAP).
A patent application has already been filed for the new type of technology.
Congratulations Karl Leo!