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The primary objective of COMPAS is to develop a compact, affordable, and highly sensitive Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) sensing platform (PSP) for air and water monitoring. This platform relies on the co-integration of light sources, detectors, and electronic ICs for on-chip signal processing.

The PIC sensor principle will be based on interference between two guided light modes, where one interacts with analytes and the other serves as a reference. The resulting intensity changes offer excellent sensitivity to variations in analyte concentration in air or solution. Multiple light paths can be incorporated into the same device, enabling multi-analyte sensing in an ultra-compact form factor. COMPAS aims to build a pioneering fully integrated system based on this principle, encompassing light sources, detectors, and signal processing. The COMPAS PSP will begin at TRL2 and conclude with TRL5 validation in relevant environments by end-users for air and water monitoring purposes.

The project will:

  • Define sensing parameters to validate the developed PIC Sensor Platform (PSP) across three use cases in relevant environments, aligning with the European Green Deal’s zero pollution ambition.
  • Develop core photonic technology for implementing photonic-based sensing. This includes a novel photonic IC material system (Aluminium Nitride), BiModal waveguide interferometers offering superior temperature stability and sensitivity, novel material coating systems for enhanced sensing selectivity, and innovative nanostructured metasurfaces for novel mode engineering, increasing sensitivity and optimising light coupling to facilitate the use of low-power laser diodes.
  • Develop a Chiplet approach for co-integration of photonic sensors with microelectronic ICs, photodetectors, and a coherent light source. This will involve heterogeneous integration of a laser light source and monolithically integrated photodetector in the silicon base material.