Fast scanning miniature tunable optical filters in mid-infrared wavelength can be the backbone of portable, low-cost spectroscopic devices. In this Phase I SBIR, CoreTek Inc. proposes to develop mid-infrared microelectromechanical based tunable filter with operating wavelength consistent with spectroscopic analysis of alcohol. The targeted application of CoreTek's mid-infrared tunable optical filter is the development of a low-cost, portable breath analyzer. Having ultra-compact tunable filter will not only reduce the size of the breath analyzer system but will also increase the accuracy of the measurement compared to commercially available breath analyzers based on electro-chemical techniques. In Phase I, CoreTek will design and fabricate the mid-infrared tunable filter from material system that enables 200 nm tuning at 3.4 mm operating wavelength. The tunable filter will be used in conjunction with PbSe detector to detect the spectral lines of the alcohol. Continuous and fast tuning of the proposed filter will provide fast data acquisition and more data points for determining the blood alcohol concentration whereas its highly integrable nature with electronics will enable fabrication of chip- level spectrophotometers which n turn will further reduce the cost and size of the proposed breath analyzer system.
Development of chip level tunable filters will lead to chip level spectrophotometers than can be used in analysis of blood analytes, gasses and tissue.