Molecular spectroscopy can reveal the form and structure of molecules and their chemical information by measuring and analyzing the spectrum of light that is emitted, absorbed, or scattered by a substance. The information obtained depends on the wavelength of light used.
By making full use of these features, Yokogawa is developing a sensor that can perform in-line measurement of the physical properties of various things and thus contribute to the optimum operation and quality control of fine-chemical processes, which are used in the chemical and biotech industries. For other applications, Yokogawa also aims to develop a sensing tool that ensures safety for people in the fields of foods, agriculture, and health care.
Yokogawa is researching and developing a molecular spectroscopic sensor which will visualize information that is otherwise invisible. Over many years, Yokogawa has cultivated spectroscopic analysis technology, spectral analysis technology, and nano photonics technology. By integrating these technologies, Yokogawa developed a sensing device and built a prototype of a handheld molecular spectroscopic sensor incorporating this device. This prototype was able to measure the lycopene content of tomatoes in a non-destructive manner. This device is expected to be useful for quality control and logistics management. Yokogawa will continue to research and develop a molecular spectroscopic sensor and expand its application to various industries.
Vision for the future
The molecular spectroscopic sensor is based on the principle of interaction between molecules and light. In addition to its real-time operation and stability, a sensor of this type can perform non-destructive and non-invasive measurement. When the absorption spectrum specific to a substance is clarified and a quantitative model is designed, it is possible to obtain information on the physical and chemical properties of a substance without destruction or invasion. Therefore, the sensor is ideal for managing the production, quality, and logistics of foods and drugs. Furthermore, by using safe light, the sensor can also be used for measuring living bodies.