The EU launched a new project called Graphenics that aims to develop an ultra-compact graphene-based mid-infrared broadband light source. The project include researchers from Belgium, Austria, Poland and Canada. The hope to achieve a highly compact and portable device, that will pave the way to mid-infrared broadband light sources in applications such as medical diagnostics and optical safety testing of water.
The researchers say that the main issue stopping the widespread adoption of broadband mid-infrared light source is the source compactness and portability. The researchers hope to develop a chip in which both the chip and the pump laser exciting the chip are made extremely compact.
The pump laser that will Be developed will be a novel small-sized pulsed fiber laser optimized for mid-infrared operation without the need for a bulky cooling system. The chip will be based on graphene, which will enable efficient broadband light generation within an ultra-small foot print.
The project received €920,000 from the EU's “Young Explorers” program. This is a special subcategory of the FP7-FET funding scheme that aims at capturing the creative potential of young researchers by fostering their leadership and participation in collaborativeresearch projects targeting first-ever, exploratory, multi-disciplinary research. The project runs from December 2013 until November 2016.