Top 10 sensing applications for mid-IR LEDs

We hope your 2019 is off to a fantastic start and that exciting things are on the horizon for you this year!


Sitting at the proverbial round table here at THzDC, we are reflecting on the success and excitement of 2018.  The gas-sensing LED market continues to heat up, and as we set our sights on targets for this year, we thought we would share some market validation (and even a few cool surprises) for featured applications for our QuiC SLED™ (mid-IR LED’s).

Many gas sensing applications become possible because of or otherwise benefit from mid-IR LEDs. In comparison to the other options (MEMS, laser diodes, alloy LEDs, and thermal heat sources), our QuiC SLEDs provide increased light, higher power output, lower power consumption, no cooling required, lower cost, and increased longevity as some of the benefits our customers are seeking.

In previous years, we have shared this Harvard Study, conducted in Fall 2016. It has gained more traction this year. The gist of the article is that increased CO2 in your “personal air space” has a greater impact on your cognitive function than previously considered. This includes impacts of CO2 levels in your home, your car, your workplace, and even your child’s nursery and classrooms.

We are continually researching current and new applications for our cool semiconductor chips, and relish new ideas and conversations from the market. Some of the fun highlights from our interactions this last year include

  1. Personal space sensing – what is happening in your personal air space?  “Personal Air Quality” or PAQ™ is the latest and most impactful trend as we see the shift from global gas sensing to your own personal space.  “Personal air quality” is defined as: knowing the quality/health of the air (CO2, CO, VOCs, NOX, and other gases important for health) in my personal space and what I am exposed to throughout the day. Referencing (again), the Harvard Study (cognitive impacts of CO2 in homes, cars, workplace, classrooms, etc), this concept is becoming of paramount importance – possibly overshadowing the global environmental sensing opportunities. (More to come on this topic in the coming months).

  2. Popular gas sensing – Increased interest in methane, ozone, & formaldehyde. These sensor devices & systems already exist and are ready for our LEDs.

  3. Automotive sector – clean air cabins, emissions, fuel efficiency. These sensor devices & systems are in research and development phases.

Other items & applications of interest:

  1. Litter box – using gas sensors to create smart litter boxes. Your cat will be so impressed!

  2. Diapers – Is there really an effective and easy method to knowing if your child’s (or elderly or disabled) diaper is soiled before the chafing and rashes set in? It seems so…

  3. Carbon emissions – Industries are now providing increased compensation for decreased emissions.

  4. Home sensing – Alexa, Echo, Nest, Siri, et al – these home sensing devices are becoming very popular with increased distribution throughout our communities and increased sensing opportunities with each version.

  5. Health sensing in your breathe – these gases (including NH3, CO2, CO, CH4, NOx, VOCs and more) can be measured in people’s breath to signify/identify health risks & issues – both chronic and acute

  6. Mobile device sensing

  7. Local global & community air quality maps. (see cool AQI maps and other resources here)

Yes – ALL of these applications can be sensed with mid-IR LEDs. 

So what is your application for 2019 that wasn’t possible before?

Let us know what you are up to in the coming year!