Spinout company Cobalt Light Systems (founded in 2008) is marketing technology using Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS), a technique invented at the CLF.
SORS provides a method for identifying the chemical composition underneath the surface of materials, including beneath the skin and liquids in bottles.
SORS does this by shining a laser in one part of the sample and collecting the scattered light from a point close by. The distance from the collection point to the laser determines roughly the depth into the sample that is monitored. The Raman spectrum obtained shows a series of peaks, a unique ‘fingerprint’ of the chemicals present.
The latest additions to the Cobalt product range is the RapID system, a handheld “point-and-shoot” device for regulation testing of raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry, and Resolve, a handheld system for through-barrier identification of hazardous materials, explosives and narcotics. These new machines provide accurate quality control, and removing the need to open packaging saves time.
As a leading new company, Cobalt won the prestigious 2014 MacRobert Award for engineering innovation for its unique liquids scanner. Cobalt were up against engineering giant Rolls Royce and the fast-growing QuinetiQ spin-out OptaSense, but won the prize for their pioneering technique that identified liquids in non-metallic containers in seconds.
In 2014 Cobalt Light Systems entered at number 10 in the Tech Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain’s fastest-growing private technology, media and telecoms companies. The 14th annual Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 placed Cobalt Light Systems in the top ten of a prestigious list of technology firms in the UK. Cobalt was also presented with the Tech Track 100 high-tech manufacturing award. And Cobalt has been
awarded the 2015 Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest accolade
for business success, in the international trade category.
These awards reflect Cobalt’s rapid growth since 2008, with innovative technology enabling the development of successful products in key markets.
Image copyright: Cobalt Light Systems Ltd