Applications of Infrared Detectors

A pyroelectric detector with its high long-term stability can be used for accurate measurements of infrared radiation. As a thermal detector, it possesses (unlike semiconductor detectors) a very broad spectral sensitivity from 100 nm to about 1,000 µm and requires no cooling. Pyroelectric detectors are powerful thermal infrared detectors that can measure signals up to the kilohertz range. Short pulses can be detected up to a few microseconds.

The most common use of pyroelectric detectors is for motion detection. Inexpensive pyroelectric ceramic sensors generally suffice for this purpose. Other applications include the non-dispersive infrared gas analysis (NDIR gas analysis) and infrared flame sensing and monitoring. In these areas, mainly high-quality, single-crystal lithium tantalate (LiTaO3) is used as a pyroelectric material. This also gives a long-term stable performance for the large signal-to-noise ratio.

The use of pyroelectric detectors for spectroscopy or radiometry is also possible.

Application Examples

  • NDIR gas analysis in medical technology, measurement of anesthetic gases, capnography, breath alcohol testing
  • NDIR gas analysis in safety technology for industry and mining
  • NDIR gas analysis for process monitoring
  • Flame sensing and monitoring
  • Contactless temperature measurement
  • Measurement of radiation strength from deep ultraviolet to the far infrared radiation in the terahertz range

See for yourself the possibilities that InfraTec offers with its powerful, highly stable and high quality pyroelectric infrared detectors for your application.

Pyroelectric detectors in the NDIR gas analysis - Picture Credits: © Juergen Faelchle /
Pyroelectric Detectors in Gas Analysis

Gas Analysis

The range of applications of pyroelectric detectors for gas analysis is very extensive, ranging from environmental measurements to the detection of gas leaks, steel analysis and medical patient monitoring while under anesthesia.

Infrared Flame Sensor / Infrared Flame Monitoring - Picture Credits: © ttstudio /
Infrared Flame Sensor

Infrared Flame Sensor

Use InfraTec’s fail-safe and consistently stable pyroelectric detectors for detecting typical spectral radiation, which is caused by burning organic substances.

Infrared Spectroscopy

Infrared Spectroscopy

In spectroscopes, very special pyroelectric detectors by InfraTec are used. Essential for this application are the uniform absorption characteristics over a wide wavelength range. This is made possible by a special absorption layer on the pyroelectric chip.

Case Studies about Pyroelectric Detectors in Different Application Areas

Awite’s non-dispersive multi-gas sensor is suitable for biogas analysis due to lower drift rates and improved transverse sensitivity to other hydrocarbons
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Energy Miracle with Natural DNA

What does your breakfast egg from the weekend, a cornfield and a large portion of french fries from a fast-food restaurant have in common? They all provide raw materials for a biogas plant. Organic substances such as egg shells, corn or potato peelings are decomposed there naturally under airtight sealing. The result is an energy-rich and extremely versatile product – biogas.

Prototype for respiratory gas analysis of Geratherm Respiratory GmbH’
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Health Care in One Breath

„Please strip to the waist.“ Medical examinations still frequently begin with this sentence. Still. This sentence could very soon be: „Please breathe out strongly.“ For research in the field of respiratory gas measurement systems are making considerable progress. The aim is clear: To make the diagnosis of illnesses easier and painless.

Cannabis Analyzer supports analysis of medically relevant substances of cannabis
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Smells Like Medicine

Cannabis serves as a basis for oils, fragrances, clothing, intoxicants – and as a medicine. Already several thousand years ago the Chinese used it as a remedy against rheumatism. Nowadays, researchers worldwide are again dealing with the medical use of the plant. Infrared sensors provide answers to the question of which type contains which active ingredients.

InfraTec Sensor Division - Asclepion Laser - Picture credits: © / 1132827504 enes evren
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Scars Fade Thanks to Laser Treatment

Diseases such as chickenpox and acne leave scars that can affect a person for a lifetime. Thanks to dermatological lasers, these can be removed gently and safely without anaesthesia or just with local anaesthetic, even from the face.

InfraTec Sensor Division - Measuring the breath alcohol concentration 1
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A New Generation for Measuring Breath Alcohol

Alcohol is the most frequent cause of death in road traffic accidents and 20% of work-related accidents are caused by alcohol. According to the WHO, about three million people die worldwide each year from alcohol consumption – that is more than from AIDS, violence and road accidents combined.

InfraTec Sensor Division - Helicobacter - Picture credits: © / 482337236
Read more about detection of Helicobacter Pylori

Take a Deep Breath

Half of the world‘s population is infected with the bacterium. Thanks to Beijing Richen-Force Science & Technology, Helicobacter pylori can now be reliably detected.

Get in contact with InfraTec sensor division

Would You Like to Know More?

It is not unusual for tasks to be associated with special requirements. Discuss your specific application needs with our experienced engineers, receive further technical information or learn more about our additional services.


InfraTec GmbH
Infrarotsensorik und Messtechnik
Gostritzer Str. 61 – 63
01217 DresdenGERMANY