Upon its 2019 release, Ushio’s Spectro series of broadband LEDs caught the attention of machine vision manufacturers by setting a new broadband (500nm – 1000nm) LED optical output power record of 160mW. Not content to accept the record as the limit of its broadband achievements, Ushio set about breaking the record once again. Ushio has since improved Spectro by adding an extra 20mW of power in the visible to near infrared (NIR) emission spectrum. The upgrade has reset the world record for broadband LED optical output power to 180mW.
The indium gallium nitride (InGaN) Spectro LEDs have found particular success when paired with photodetector sensors and spectral imaging cameras. Capturing the spectral absorption properties of common materials allows automated systems perform categorization, quality assurance, and other sorting tasks. Potential applications include detecting moisture content within an object, such as in optical food sorting applications, or monitoring the fill level of a medicine bottle.
Technical Specifications of Ushio Spectro Broadband LED
- Hyperspectral wavelength emission (400nm – 1000nm) with a total radiated power of 280mW
- World’s highest optical output power (180mW) for broadband LED emission (500nm – 1000nm)
- Emission spectrum stable against temperature and forward current fluctuations
- Compact SMBB package with a tiny footprint (1mm2)
- Easy integration into OEM devices
- High standard of heat dissipation, no dissipation jig required
- Longer life than conventional halogen alternatives
- Lens selection allows different viewing angles
- Multiple chips can be implemented depending on the required output power
What makes Ushio’s broadband LEDs special?
Developed in Kyoto, Japan, the Spectro series has proven popular in the food and medicine production industries. The absorption characteristics of near infrared (NIR) light differ from one substance to another, so these LEDs lend themselves well to applications such as determining the type and quantity of a substance.
Simultaneously identifying multiple materials, each with a different peak light absorbency, is possible by deploying separate LED and sensor packages to illuminate and detect each respective material independently. A popular solution for this is Ushio’s multi-chip SWIR packages, such as the Epitex D series. The D series can house up to three narrowband chips, each emitting a different wavelength.
So why would you need a broadband LED? One reason to choose a broadband LED light source is the wider range of wavelengths simultaneous emission. By using complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors to detect how much of the broadband emissions are absorbed, it is possible to identify multiple materials within a substance while only using one broadband light source. Not only can does this technique make it possible to recognize multiple contents within an object, the data gleaned from the analysis can provide accurate quantitative measurement.
Potential applications for Ushio’s Spectro broadband LEDs
There are many potential applications for Spectro broadband LEDs, such as checking the sugar content of a soft drink or monitoring blood oxygen saturation. More applications have been discovered, particularly because the broadband output includes wavelengths in the visible spectrum. The spectral emission of Spectro is roughly in-line with the spectral sensitivity of the CMOS photodetector typically employed in common sensory devices. This offers incredible possibilities for implementation such as the sorting of items by material, color, or the detection and removal of foreign matter from a production process.
Ushio’s LED experts can guide you to the right broadband solution. Contact Ushio today if you are interested in the following applications:
- Substance / matter analysis
- Machine vision
- Optical sorting (by raw material, by color, etc.)
- Detection of foreign matter
- Blood oxygen saturation analysis
- Endoscopic procedures
- Hyperspectral imaging
- Photodynamic therapy
- Instrument diagnostics and research execution
Miniaturization continues to progress, while the expectations of portable devices have become an outright demand by consumers and industry alike. Until fairly recently, many LEDs on the market were able to eliminate the bulky size and excessive heat issues that are synonymous with halogen lamp solutions; but they were only able to offer a relatively weak output in comparison.
The broadband Spectro LED series offers a higher power, and consequently, measurement applications can become even more accurate. The construction of the SMBB package means that there is no need for a heat-dissipation jig to accompany it. Multiple LEDs are also no longer necessary to cover a hyperspectral wavelength band, thanks to the implementation of a phosphor that features a continuous spectrum extending from violet-visible to NIR.
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