An Integrated Near Infrared Spectroscopy Sensor for In-Situ Environmental Monitoring

EPA Grant Number: R826190
Title: An Integrated Near Infrared Spectroscopy Sensor for In-Situ Environmental Monitoring
Investigators: Levy, Roland A. , Federici, John F.
Current Investigators: Levy, Roland A.
Institution: New Jersey Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: February 20, 1998 through February 19, 2001 (Extended to February 19, 2003)
Project Amount: $322,230
RFA: Exploratory Research - Environmental Chemistry (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Land and Waste Management , Air , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry


The monitoring of environmental organic contaminants currently involves off-site methods which prohibit optimal usage. In this program, we combine the principles of interferometry with that of near infrared evanescent wave absorption spectroscopy to produce a novel integrated sensor technology capable of monitoring and determining in-situ the concentration of numerous organic analyte species simultaneously. This program will focus on the development of a novel sensor that is based on well established physical principles and one that is non-intrusive for deployment at sites in order to obtain accurate, rapid, and cost effective data. The overall instrument will be compact, portable, rugged, and suitable for real time monitoring of organics.


Operation of the sensor is based on the detection of refractive index changes on waveguide surfaces which are caused by the presence of contaminants in the environment. These changes are measured by exposing one arm of a symmetric Mach-Zehnder interferometer to the analyte. Selectivity of such a sensor will be achieved by utilizing evanescent wave absorption spectroscopy in the near infrared, a technique which measures wavelength dependent refractive index changes.

Expected Results:

This proposed program will be performed over a period of 3 years. During the first year, the effort will focus on the fabrication and evaluation of a laboratory scale integrated optical sensor based on microfabrication processes which have already been developed at NJIT. During the second year, the emphasis will shift towards development of prototype systems which can readily be field tested. Results of these tests will be used in an iterative fashion to optimize sensor design and fabrication techniques. During the third year, the work will be directed towards the miniaturization of discrete components of the monitoring system.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 4 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

remote sensing, innovative technology, Scientific Discipline, Air, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Electron Microscopy, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, environmental monitoring, remote sensing, organic analyte species, infrared spectroscopy sensor, optical sensor, Mach-Zender interferometer, waveguide surfaces, real time monitoring, organic contaminants

Relevant Websites: Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998 Progress Report
  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001
  • Final Report