In the fine chemicals industry, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, advanced sensing technologies have recently begun being incorporated into the process line in order to improve safety and quality in accordance with process analytical technology. For estimating the quality of powders without preparation during drug formulation, near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has been considered the most promising sensing approach. In this study, we have developed a compact polychromator-type NIR spectrometer equipped with a photodiode (PD) array detector. This detector is consisting of 640 InGaAs-PD elements with 20-μm pitch. Some high-specification spectrometers, which use InGaAs-PD with 512 elements, have a wavelength resolution of about 1.56 nm when covering 900-1700 nm range. On the other hand, the newly developed detector, having the PD with one of the world's highest density, enables wavelength resolution of below 1.25 nm. Moreover, thanks to the combination with a highly integrated charge amplifier array circuit, measurement speed of the detector is higher by two orders than that of existing PD array detectors. The developed spectrometer is small (120 mm × 220 mm × 200 mm) and light (6 kg), and it contains various key devices including the high-density and high-sensitivity PD array detector, NIR technology, and spectroscopy technology for a spectroscopic analyzer that has the required detection mechanism and high sensitivity for powder measurement, as well as a high-speed measuring function for blenders. Moreover, we have evaluated the characteristics of the developed NIR spectrometer, and the measurement of powder samples confirmed that it has high functionality.
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