Increasing the sensitivity of optical detectors

The electromagnetic spectrum comprises light photons extending from gamma-rays (with the shortest wavelength) through X-rays, Ultraviolet (UV), visible light, Infrared, and into radio waves (with the longest wavelength).

Conventional silicon-based optical sensors generally have a good spectral response to photons in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) spectrum, often peaking at 800-900nm wavelength (NIR) but deteriorating significantly below 400nm (blue). It is this part of the spectrum that Lambda’s technology can help the most.

A down-conversion solution will have the greatest impact at wavelengths below 400nm, where existing sensor technology has either poor performance or a very high cost. Down-converting nanomaterials have excellent absorptivity in UV and some materials have been shown to absorb X-rays, Gamma-rays and even electrons. Lambda is exploring the use of down-conversion materials for high power electron beam applications and in X-ray imaging for industrial inspection purposes.

The Lambda team has considerable experience in dispersion of nanoparticles into tailored polymer formulations. Lambda led two Innovate UK projects during 2020/21 during which the team developed polymer formulations to allow successful dispersion of Quantum Dot nanomaterials for Luminescent Downshifting.

Our down-conversion films exhibit

Our down-conversion films exhibit:

  • Excellent optical transparency
  • Absorbing strongly in UV
  • Customisable emission wavelength between 520nm and 680nm
  • Supplied as a flexible film or on a substrate
  • Dimensions: up to 95x95mm
  • Short decay time (an important parameter in optical sensor applications)

Lambda’s physicists are highly skilled in electrical engineering, with wide-ranging skills including:

  • Optical engineering & modelling
    • Raytracing, to understand how light photons move through materials with different optical properties
    • Studying the interaction between light photons, PV cells and photodetectors
  • Rapid prototyping
    • Electronics development & build
    • Software/hardware integration
    • 3D printing
  • Electrical test rig development
    • Quantification of measurement errors
    • Test automation

The optical sensors sector is huge, with countless variations of photodetector designs and applications throughout industry. If you feel that your product could be enhanced or enabled through use of down-converting materials, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Lambda is seeking strategically aligned investors who can help us accelerate the development and adoption of our technology. If you would like to discuss then please contact us at