Broadband IR LED from Osram Opto Semiconductors enables food analytics applications

Nov. 21, 2016
Sunnyvale, CA - World’s first broadband infrared LED from Osram

New emitter from Osram Opto Semiconductors paves the way for everyday food analytics

Osram Opto Semiconductors is utilizing converter technology for infrared emitters for the first time to produce an LED that emits broadband infrared light in a wavelength range from 650 to 1,050 nanometers (nm). The main application is near-infrared spectroscopy, such as analyzing food to measure fat, protein, water or sugar content.

This broadband IR LED – the SFH 4735 – is based on a blue chip and a special phosphor converter. The main application, for which the LED component is ideally suited, is near-infrared spectroscopy for analyzing food quality. With the SFH 4735, Osram Opto Semiconductors has succeeded in producing the world's first broadband emitting infrared LED. This new development from Osram enables this sensor technology to move into the consumer sector, for example, as an add-on for smartphones. The first mini spectrometers have already been showcased, and the new IR LED means that a compact light source is now available.

Measuring freshness with a smartphone
Infrared spectroscopy uses the characteristic absorption behavior of certain molecular compounds. If a defined spectrum is directed at a sample, it is possible to determine the presence and quantity of certain ingredients from the wavelength distribution of the reflected light. This method is used in the food industry and in agriculture, among other sectors. It is possible, for example, to measure the water, fat, carbohydrate, sugar or protein content of foodstuffs. This data provides an indication of freshness, quality or calorie content.

The new infrared LED opens this measurement technique up for the consumer market. One option is a compact sensor – like a USB stick – that would be used with an appropriate smartphone app to measure calories, freshness or nutritional content.

First converter for infrared emitters
The basis of the SFH 4735 is a blue 1 mm2 chip in UX:3 technology. Its light is converted into infrared radiation with the aid of a phosphor converter developed specifically for this application. A residual blue component in the light helps users target the area they want to investigate. The emission spectrum of the SFH 4735 has a homogeneous spectral distribution in the infrared range. The chip is mounted in the compact and performance proven Oslon Black Flat package, which is characterized by excellent thermal resistance.

Food analytics supplements bio monitoring
Compact units for spectroscopic chemical analyses open up a completely new range of applications in consumer electronics. Experts expect that it will be possible in the near future to integrate spectrometers directly in mobile devices. The new technology is a natural extension of bio monitoring, in other words, the trend for measuring various vital signs such as pulse rate and calorie consumption. A smartphone spectrometer will enable users to monitor the food they eat in a similar manner. Medicines can also be checked in the same way. “Future applications are also of particular interest,” said Chris Goeltner, Product Marketing Manager for Infrared at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “It is conceivable that the emission range can be extended to include wavelengths up to 2,000 nanometers, which is the middle infrared spectral range. This will allow more precise and detailed measurements and will open up new options for everyday analyses of certain environmental parameters such as air quality.”

Technical Information:
Tel. 866-993-5211
Email: [email protected]
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Technical data
SFH 4735
Wavelength 650-1050 nm
Spectral output 60 mW @ 750 nm; 30 mW @ 980 nm
Dimensions 3.75 mm x 3.75 mm x 0.7 mm
Chip surface 1 mm2

About Osram
OSRAM, based in Munich, is a globally leading lighting manufacturer with a history dating back more than 100 years. The portfolio ranges from high-tech applications based on semiconductor technology, such as infrared or laser lighting, to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. OSRAM had around 33,000 employees worldwide at the end of fiscal 2015 (September 30) and generated revenue of almost €5.6 billion in that fiscal year. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED 400; trading symbol: OSR). Additional information can be found at


Kate Cleveland - Osram Opto Semiconductors
+1 248-277-8018