Technical Know-how and Economic Success
On November 12 and 13, 2018, LASER COMPONENTS’ IR WORKshop entered its fifth round. Almost eighty IR experts from thirteen countries on four continents met at the company’s headquarters in Olching. In addition to technical progress, the commercial aspects always play a major role in this series of events. Once again, the forty-three contributions were deliberately limited to either twelve minutes or, in the case of short contributions (instead of posters), even to five minutes. This forces the speakers to sum up their messages in a nutshell and creates long breaks in which the participants can interact and discuss controversially. In addition to long-established researchers, the event is traditionally attended by many young people.
One main topic this time around was microelectronic components for NIR spectroscopy. “Near infrared spectroscopy has a realistic chance of becoming a mainstream and even consumer technology in the near future. However, there are still major challenges that need to be addressed,” explains the host Johannes Kunsch, head of IR components at LASER COMPONENTS. In the lectures and discussions, it became clear that the datasheets of the MEMS-based NIR spectrometers are sufficient for many standard applications. Integration into smartphones is also possible. However, questions about temperature effects, sample inhomogeneity, calibration transfer, and killer applications still have to be solved before final market success can be achieved.
Previous WORKshop participants have had the opportunity for the first time to present an update on their projects. “Of course, most people remember large, ambitious projects,” says Johannes Kunsch. “Regular participants are therefore always curious as to how these projects have progressed. This program item was very successful. At the next IR WORKshop to be held in Olching in 2020, we will surely present new status reports of current projects.”
But first the 6th International IR WORKshop will take place in the U.S.A. Since 2017, this event has been held alternately on either side of the Atlantic – this time from October 28 to 30, 2019, at Princeton University in New Jersey.