A Mobile G-Fresnel based Spectrometer

A personal analytical tool


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We have developed a new ultra-low cost, ultra-compact, high-performance spectrometer technology that can potentially lead to a device of centimeter size dimension with high spectral resolution which can be integrated with mobile wireless technology-making spectroscopy affordable and accessible for everyone. The merging of spectroscopy with wireless technology offers opprotunities to improve personal health care and has several other applications in chemical sensing and color analysis.

Learn more about our technology below!




The core technology behind our mobile optical spectrometer is the G-Fresnel diffractive optical element, which realizes in a single device collimation, dispersion, and collection through combining the feature patterns of an optical grating and a Fresnel lens into a single thin film element. The G-Fresnel device can have a low f-number, which enables miniaturization of the entire spectrometer system while maintaining high spectral resolution (~1 nm) [2].


Figures: (above) Comparison between traditional optical spectrometer and a G-Fresnel spectrometer. (right) Diagram demonstrating wavelength dispersive properties of the G-Fresnel device [2]. (below) A PDMS molded G-Fresnel device.



[1] Chuan Yang, Perry Edwards, Kebin Shi, and Zhiwen Liu, "Proposal and demonstration of a spectrometer using a diffractive optical element with dual dispersion and focusing functionality," Opt. Lett. 36, 2023-2025 (2011).

[2] Chuan Yang, Kebin Shi, Perry Edwards, and Zhiwen Liu, “Demonstration of a PDMS based hybrid grating and Fresnel lens (G-Fresnel) device”, Optics Express 18, 23529-23534 (2010).

[3] C.Yang, P. Edwards, K. Shi, and Z. Liu, "A compact optical spectrometer based on a single-grating Fresnel diffractive optical element," SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing, Baltimore (2012).

[4] Yang, P. Edwards, K. Shi, and Z. Liu, "Hybrid Diffractive Optical Element Based Spectrometer," in CLEO:2011 - Laser Applications to Photonic Applications, OSA Technical Digest (CD) (Optical Society of America, 2011), paper JWA64.

Patent Pending

Z. Liu, C. Yang, P. Edwards, K. Shi, 'Compact Spectrometer Including a Diffractive Optical Element with Dual Dispersion and Focusing Functionality', U.S. Patent Application Pub. No.: US2012/0038918A1 (2012), originally filed August 13, 2010.


This work is supported by the National Science Foundation.

The Pennsylvania State University    Department of Electrical Engineering