Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Frequency Comb Based Multidimensional Coherent Spectroscopy

Technology #7155

There is a large need for spectroscopic technology to be used for chemical identification. An optical spectrum can act as a fingerprint for different molecules, allowing identification, opening up the door for various applications. One area that spectroscopy has become a vital tool is the intelligence community for stand-off chemical detection (for example, detecting improvised explosive devices from a safe distance). Current spectroscopic techniques are limited by safety and observability issues, long interrogation time, and insufficient area coverage. Most importantly, they are limited by spectral “clutter”, which is characterized by a region of interest with multiple chemicals signatures, mostly arising from background interferers, making it difficult to decipher which portion of the spectra belongs to the region of interest. This technology provides a spectroscopy system that is based on the use of frequency combs and multidimensional coherent spectroscopy that not only identifies molecular fingerprint, but also solves the problem of background clutter. In addition, the system uses shorter interrogation times, and can offer enhanced sensitivity, and be potentially more compact than devices using currently available technology. This system has demonstrated its feasibility as a complete spectroscopic tool by measuring the spectral lines of a specified atom, to produce the signals necessary to probe the molecular spectrum with near-future plans.


  • Chemical sensing
  • Standoff detection of warfare agents on battlefield
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Trace gas sensing


  • Does not require an atlas of known spectra to decompose spectra
  • No moving parts
  • Compact
  • Reduced signal acquisition times