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Our scope is the development and production of micro- and nano-optical instruments with applications in optical sensing and biochemistry. Our company-owned technology is based on the use of microscopic polymer latex particles as whispering gallery mode sensors, i.e., light circulates inside of the microparticles, thereby producing interference patterns that depend severely on size and geometry of the particle as well as its environment. Any change in one of these conditions will immediately affect the particle's mode pattern and thus can be used as highly sensitive microscopic sensor. Since both signal excitation and read-out are performed optically, the particles can be used as microscopic remote probes exploring microscopic fluidic volumes of basically any kind.

One recent demonstration of the potential of our sensors is the measurement of biomechanical forces during the uptake of the microparticles by live cells.1 Deformations of particle sphericity as small as few nanometers could be measured with high precision and be used for the determination of forces exerted on the particle by the cell.

Other applications of the particle sensors are related to local refractive index sensing,2 the measurement of local concentrations of chemical species, the control of particle coating procedures and related treatments, and the measurement of adsorbates on the particle surface, 3-5 as it is frequently performed in modern kinds of biochemical analyses.

The instrumentation involved, such as fiber-optical probes, spectrographs with high spectral resolution, and microfluidic cells, may further find applications in Raman spectroscopy, where, for example, the entire fingerprint region of organic molecules can be monitored at a spectral resolution of 1.5 wavenumbers. Due to the low costs of our instruments in comparison to multifunctional Raman systems our approach is particularly interesting if the range of analysis is fixed and does not exceed about 1000 wavenumbers. This may be the case, e.g., in process monitoring and related applications.

As a young company we are always happy to be challenged by new ideas off the mainstream. Therefore, please talk to us, even or just if your problem does not meet the standard solution available on the market!

1 A. Francois and M. Himmelhaus, Biosens. Bioelectron. 25 (2), 418-427 (2009)
2 M. Himmelhaus, S. Krishnamoorthy, A. Francois, Sensors 10,
  6257-6274 (2010)
3 A. Francois, M. Himmelhaus, Sensors 9, 6836-6852 (2009)
4 A. Francois and M. Himmelhaus, Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 031101/1-3 (2009)
5 A. Francois and M. Himmelhaus, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 141107/1-3 (2008)


Dr. Michael Himmelhaus

Poststra├če 4
07616 B├╝rgel, Germany

+49-(0)36 692 / 36 26 24

+49-(0)36 692 / 36 26 28


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