A new spectrometer for the LOS platform: first in Belgium and world premiere!

The Lasers, Optics and Spectroscopies (LOS) technological platform has just received a new spectrometer. Its particularity? It can be used in many fields and allows the study of phenomena with very high spectral resolution and at very high speed - of the order of a microsecond. It is the first instrument of this type in Belgium and the world’s first one qualified for high-resolution spectroscopy!

The LOS platform, led by Professor Muriel Lepère, offers expertise in advanced optical measurement for the characterization of matter, light and matter-light interactions, whether in fundamental or applied research. It is equipped with various measuring instruments, many of which are home-made. This new instrument, a novel high-resolution dual comb spectrometer, completes the state-of-the-art equipment.

In October 2019, following a meeting with IRsweep , a spin-off of ETH Zurich, Muriel Lepère decided to acquire IRis-F1, an infrared spectrometer based on frequency comb technology and developed by IRsweep. A spectrometer is a scientific instrument that allows to determine the components of matter, solid, liquid or gaseous, living or inert, and to measure their concentrations. IRis-F1 was initially developed for the study of matter in solid or liquid phase. Since the creation of the IRis-F1 in 2018, this instrument has made it possible to carry out studies in many fields, for example, very high-speed phenomena (less than microseconds), such as protein dynamics. In 2019, the spin-off took up an additional challenge by accessing the very high spectral resolution (below 10-3 cm-1), a characteristic absolutely necessary for the study of the gas phase, such as atmospheric pollutants, residual gases of combustion... IRis-F1 can be used in many fields, including biology, chemistry, pharmacy or physics.

By deciding to acquire this instrument, Muriel Lepère and IRsweep have also chosen to join their expertise and collaborate to offer a bright future to IRis-F1 at high resolution. Together we go further... A true scientific and technological collaboration was born. In July 2020, a co-hosted webinar was held, bringing together many spectroscopy scientists and experts. In August, Muriel Lepère and Olivier Browet, technician at the Laboratory of Lasers and Spectroscopies and at the LOS platform, spent a week at IRsweep to perform tests and the first measurements before delivery. A first scientific communication for an international conference has just been co-submitted. And just one year after the idea has been put forward, the new spectrometer has now been delivered to Namur!

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Photo: From left to right, Dr. Raphael HORVATH, IRsweep Application Engineer, Dr. Pitt ALLMENDINGER, IRsweep R&D Engineer, Kuno KNAPP, IRsweep Intern, Dr. Florian EIGENMANN, IRsweep Sales Manager, Prof. Muriel LEPÈRE, UNamur, Olivier BROWET, UNamur Technician, Dr. Markus MANGOLD, Co-founder of IRsweep.

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