A research project led by Professor Jin Wei, Chair Professor of Photonic Instrumentation at PolyU’s Department of Electrical Engineering, was recently named in the “2020 China’s Top Ten Optical Breakthroughs” list in the applied research category. The selection, which is organised by China Laser Press, is recognised as the most influential accolade in the field of optics in China.


Professor Jin and his team developed a novel method of gas sensing called Mode-phase-difference Photothermal Spectroscopy. It was hailed as “a landmark technique in fibre-optic gas sensing” by a reviewer in Nature Communications, where the research results were published.


The innovation significantly outperforms state-of-the-art electrochemical and semiconductor gas sensors, and enables multi-component gas detection with a single sensing element. It paves the way for ultra-precision gas sensing for applications such as harmful gas detection in a space station and high voltage transformer condition monitoring. Conducted in collaboration with academics from Beihang University and Beijing University of Technology, the research will also have applications in the medical field.