Vision & Optical

SWS’ MEMS FT-IR Spectrometer Wins Prism Award

February 7, 2014

World’s First Single-Chip FT-IR Spectrometer Wins for Test, Measurement, Metrology

CAIRO, Egypt -- Si-Ware Systems (SWS) has won the prestigious Prism award for its MEMS FT-IR spectrometer in the category of Test, Measurement, Metrology. With a single-chip MEMS based monolithic Michelson interferometer, innovative dedicated circuitry, and versatile software, SWS’ MEMS FT-IR spectrometer is the world’s first single-chip FT-IR spectrometer. The miniaturized, low cost module can be integrated into a wide variety of systems for applications that require qualitative and/or quantitative material analysis.

The Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation is a leading international competition that honours the best new photonic products on the market. Over the years, the prism awards has received applications from more than 35 countries across the globe. Applications are judged by a panel of leading industry experts, venture capitalists, luminaries and visionaries. The Prism Awards, named the "Photonics Oscar" by OptecNet Deutschland, is a celebration of the best of the photonics industry.

SWS was a finalist in two categories: Optics and Optical Components and Test, Measurement, Metrology. The awards were announced and given out last night at a banquet during the Photonics West conference in San Francisco.

The FT-IR spectrometer consists of a MEMS chip that measures 1 x 1 cm2 and contains all of the optical components. The electronics interface is a separate ASIC that is designed and produced by SWS’s ASIC Solutions Division. The additional components of the system are a photodetector, optical fiber, and software.

The initial system is contained in a module that is powered through USB interface and consumes less than 150 mA. The module measures 8 x 6 x 3 cm3 and weighs less than 150 g. All of this making it the smallest and lowest power consuming FT-IR spectrometer in the world.

“SWS is proud to receive this award and have its MEMS FT-IR spectrometer recognized as a leading new product in the industry” said Bassam Saadany, Ph.D, Optical MEMS Technology Division Manager at SWS. “This recognition validates that SWS’ FT-IR spectrometer represents a paradigm shift for spectroscopy and offers the realization of a true portable and handheld spectrometer”.

The FT-IR spectrometer is the first product to be developed and released based on SWS’s Silicon integrated Micro Optical System Technology (SiMOST™). SiMOST is a complete platform that enables the creation of monolithic optical systems using validated MEMS components. Multiple optical MEMS structures can be patterned and etched on SOI wafers using Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE). The structures are then wafer level packaged and diced to create a one-chip optical system.

Evaluation modules for the FT-IR spectrometer, the SWS62211-P, are available today from SWS. For more information, visit

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