Single-nanowire spectrometers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Zongyin Yang
  • Tom Albrow-Owen
  • Hanxiao Cui
  • Jack Alexander-Webber
  • Fuxing Gu
  • Xiaomu Wang
  • Tien Chun Wu
  • Minghua Zhuge
  • Calum Williams
  • Pan Wang
  • Anatoly V. Zayats
  • Weiwei Cai
  • Lun Dai
  • Stephan Hofmann
  • Mauro Overend
  • Limin Tong
  • Qing Yang
  • Zhipei Sun

  • Tawfique Hasan

Research units

  • Nanjing University
  • King’s College London
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Peking University
  • University of Cambridge
  • Zhejiang University
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Shanghai for Science and Technology


Spectrometers with ever-smaller footprints are sought after for a wide range of applications in which minimized size and weight are paramount, including emerging in situ characterization techniques. We report on an ultracompact microspectrometer design based on a single compositionally engineered nanowire. This platform is independent of the complex optical components or cavities that tend to constrain further miniaturization of current systems. We show that incident spectra can be computationally reconstructed from the different spectral response functions and measured photocurrents along the length of the nanowire. Our devices are capable of accurate, visible-range monochromatic and broadband light reconstruction, as well as spectral imaging from centimeter-scale focal planes down to lensless, single-cell-scale in situ mapping.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1020
Number of pages4
Issue number6457
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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