With headquarters in Dresden, Germany, InfraTec is focused on quality products in the infrared technology. InfraTec's Sensors Division develops and manufactures customer-specific components in particular pyroelectric infrared detectors. These detectors are incorporated by leading global manufactures of devices for infrared gas analysis and infrared spectroscopy.
Brands: PYROMID® Multi Channel Detectors
When organic substances such as wood, natural gas, petrol and various plastics are catching fire, spectral radiation of typical wavelengths is emitted. As a specialist in flame detection technology, InfraTec is expanding its range of specialized detectors that detect radiation in precisely this area. The new miniaturized multi channel detector LRM-274 is characterized by the fact that as a low-power detector it requires only one unipolar supply voltage. The power consumption of such components, which are also referred to as single supply detectors, is several times lower than that of conventional standard detectors. They are particularly suitable for operation in industrial fire protection and early fire detection devices. The thermal compensation of the LRM-274 ensures stable operation even in the event of severe temperature fluctuations. Reliability in everyday life is also the aim of a detail included in an InfraTec detector for the first time. This refers to integrated heating resistors with which users themselves test the detector if necessary and thus test the complete signal chain as well as the components. This ensures a significant degree of additional safety especially when used in flame sensors. This enables to clearly determine at any time whether the respective measurement device still functions correctly. Another strength of the LRM-274 lies in the preconditions offered by the detector for easy integration into appropriate equipment environments. The operational amplifiers used during signal processing work within a range from 2.7 V to 5.0 V. This allows the detector to be easily integrated into the voltage range of the subsequent processor. Apart form this, due to its thermal compensation, it requires only a very small voltage reserve. An excellent ratio between useful signals and interference signals also makes it resistant to interferences. Large field of view as a precondition for efficient use in practice In addition to its low energy consumption, the latest innovation of InfraTec is characterized by a very large field of view. Symmetrical and more than 90 ˚ wide, this allows the detection of flames at constant signal ratios even for large angles of incidence. In addition, sensitive elements with a particularly large size of (2 × 2) mm2 ensure a high signal-to-noise ratio. This results in tremendous performance, which can be measured by tangible data, such as the value of the specific detectivity D*. The quad channel detector belongs to the series of PYROMID® detectors. With this detector, users can measure three absorption bands simultaneously and also use a reference channel. The TO8 housing (Ø 15.2 mm) of the LRM-274 has a robust aperture window of approximately (8.5 × 8.5) mm2, which protects the detector from external influences. Its miniaturized design and optional hermetic seal support easy integration into existing systems.
More than ten years ago, a tunable detector with Fabry-Pérot filter (FPI detector) from InfraTec won the AMA Innovation Award for outstanding research and development work. Later additional also international awards were added. Since then, further development of this special group of pyroelectric detectors never stopped. Now, InfraTec engineers, with financial support from the European Union's European Regional Development Fund, have succeeded for the first time in integrating one of our FPI detectors into a TO39 housing. This success results from InfraTec's participation in the research project "miniMODUL – highly miniaturised spectrometer module for IR gas sensor technology", which will run until July 2019. Partner here is the Center for Microtechnologies (ZfM) of the Chemnitz University of Technology. With its expertise in MEMS, it supports InfraTec in the development and manufacturing of Fabry-Pérot filter (FPF). This cooperation is a significant factor towards producing spectrometric IR sensors that are smaller and more cost-efficient than solutions currently available in the market but with almost the same capability. Entry into new market segments In this specific market, the designs of many devices for integrating relevant NDIR gas sensors are based on the housing formats TO39 and TO5 with a diameter of 9.2 mm. The opportunity to now use a TO39 housing means a reduction of existing dimensions by around 40 percent. Comparison of the size of the detectors' FPF shows the same ratio. In the first FPI detectors, the filter had dimensions of 8.6 × 8.6 mm2. In the currently available models, the size is already just 7 × 7 mm2. This value shrinks due to the new development further to just 5 × 5 mm2 – and so it covers only one third of the original surface area. Production costs also fall as a result, since more FPI chips fit onto a wafer. Numerous applications conceivable The list of potential tasks that can be solved with highly miniaturised spectrometer modules with FPF is an already very extensive one. It ranges from testing the quality of liquid or gaseous energy carriers to analysis of milk components to investigating tissue for early cancer detection. The potential of these smaller FPI detectors lies mainly in their implementation in very compact, portable sensors. Moreover, they open additional opportunities for use in more price-sensitive sectors, such as security technology and medicine.
Pyroelectric detectors are ideally suited for gas analysis. Until now, this has been complicated if many gases should be measured. There were often simply too few measuring channels for this purpose. The new LRM-278 from InfraTec now offers exactly the right solution for this. Combining eight channels in a TO8 housing with a diameter of 15.2 millimetres this detectors is the first of its kind worldwide. As a result, the number of gases that can be measured with a single detector of this size has doubled in one fell swoop. Double Space Savings When looking at the design of the single supply detector, two details become clear, which make a significant contribution towards ensuring that such a powerful solution fits into such a small space. The first detail is the central window built directly in the cap, which all other models of the series of miniaturised multi channel detectors have, too. The correspondingly large aperture of 8.5 × 8.5 mm2 means that the LRM-278 has a very large field of view (FOV). This gives rise to its outstanding signal-to-noise ratio. The second detail is concealed inside the detector. There, on special chip carriers, the sensitive pyroelectric sensors, the compensation elements as well as the 2 × 2 mm2 filters are positioned directly on top of each other. Due to this stack design, there is sufficient space for all other components. Temperature Sensor Directly in the Detector The frames with sensitive elements and filters are arranged in a square each with three times three fields. With a total of eight channels, one field thus remains free – the one in the middle. At this position there is a temperature sensor. With gas sensors, the temperature is usually measured as well. Until now, this has not been possible directly in the detector, however. Measuring the temperature inside the detector, for example, provides the option of compensating the typical temperature drift of the filters very accurately by means of a calibration. In addition to the measurement accuracy, there are also the benefits resulting from the current mode of the LRM-278. This means that it impresses particularly by its fast displaying of signal changes and dynamic response behaviour. The resulting high signal voltage simplifies the circuit design and allows the detector to become more resilient against disturbances. The higher signal levels support the easy integration of the detector into measuring modules. Thanks to all these benefits, the LRM-278 is predestined for extremely complex tasks within the gas analysis. This includes the analysis of medical and technical gases, the measurement of emissions as well as applications in the field of safety technology.