Stratium to launch chip-based mid-IR quantum cascade lasers for sensing

Jan. 28, 2016
Stratium, a University of Sheffield spin-out company, secured funding that allows it to launch its first QCL product.

Cardiff, England-based Stratium, a spin-out company formed in July 2015 on the back of collaborative semiconductor laser research and innovation between the University of Sheffield's departments of Physics and Astronomy and Electronic and Electrical Engineering, has secured funding that allows it to launch its first quantum cascade laser (QCL) product. Stratium announced more than $427,000 dollars of seed capital investment from IP Group and Finance Wales allowing it to enter the quantum cascade laser (QCL) marketplace with the launch of Bruar, a mid-infrared QCL chip on submount for use in gas sensing and environmental monitoring applications.

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Stratium says its QCL products allow the detection and analysis of trace gases, in the parts-per-million (ppm) to parts-per-trillion (ppt) range. As most molecules have their fundamental rotational-vibrational absorption bands in the mid-infrared (mid-IR) region of the spectrum, a significant number of applications are available for laser sources emitting in this technologically important wavelength range.

Kenneth Kennedy, technical director at Stratium, said, "This initial investment round will significantly help to optimise Stratium's QCL material growth, fabrication, test and characterisation capabilities and will allow us to focus on our planned programme of research and development to enhance our QCL product and Intellectual Property portfolio."

Commenting on Finance Wales' investment in Stratium, investment executive Ann Casey in the tech ventures team said, "Finance Wales is pleased to co-invest with IP Group to back Stratium as its launches Bruar. It's an important milestone for the company and also our first co-investment from the Wales Technology Seed Fund. Quantum Cascade Lasers are an emerging technology with significant potential and Stratium's Bruar chip is an excellent example of how they're increasingly being used in a wide range of everyday technological applications."

With almost 26,000 students from around 120 countries, learning alongside more than 1200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield says it is one of the world's leading universities. In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Experience by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen's Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom's intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students. Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

SOURCE: University of Sheffield;

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