Within the School of Physics and Astronomy, Dr. Huw Summers has developed a semiconductor optical device for use particularly, but not exclusively, in the field of bio-chemical analysis.
The device uses novel structuring of the semiconductor crystal both to emit light (for example as a resonant cavity LED or laser) and detect light falling on it. In contrast, other applications of this type of technology require separate light emitting and light detecting apparatus.
This kind of device would find application in the field of bio-chemical analysis where a light source is used to cause fluorescence in a sample to be analysed with the fluorescent light emitted then being detected and measured to provide information on the sample.
Within the device, a particular layer serves to absorb light of a prescribed wavelength, forming electron-hole pairs in the process. The current-voltage characteristics of the device are thereby altered. The device may be operated either by providing constant voltage with the varying current monitored, or constant current with the varying voltage monitored. The variation of the current/voltage then provides information on the sample being studied.
A suitable substrate may be deposited over the device surface to provide recesses or flow channels for receiving sample materials, improving the ease with which measurements are made.
For further details please contact Dr Lee Bartlett: