After 150 failed attempts, Zhejiang University's young scholar Yang Zongyin developed the world's smallest spectrometer. Foreign media claim it surpasses the limits of Newton's optical experiments. How do we view this research?

Zhejiang University Young Scholar, and 2023 Dharma Institute Green Orange Award recipient Yang Zongyin, has developed the world’s smallest spectrometer. He proposed a completely new design that replaces the traditional components such as gratings, detector arrays, and collimating optics with semiconductor nanomaterials. The structure is incredibly simple, allowing the size to be reduced to one-thousandth of a traditional spectrometer. This spectrometer can be used for single-cell hyperspectral imaging, spectral monitoring, and screening. Moreover, by replacing materials, the operational wavelength range of this miniaturized spectrometer can extend from visible light to mid-infrared, opening up more applications such as blood glucose detection.This device, which is smaller than a human hair by a factor of a thousand, took Yang Zongyin 8 years of research and 150 failed attempts. Science’s editors described this achievement as “the most advanced material synthesis, the highest-level experimental skills, and the most ingenious algorithms in the world,” putting China at the forefront of miniaturized spectrometers. The Science paper published at the time had the title “Pushing the Limits of Newtonian Optics,” indicating that it goes beyond Newtonian optics by making it even smaller. How should we view this research, and what changes can spectrometers bring to everyday life? How did this Zhejiang University researcher develop the world’s smallest spectrometer?

Journey of a Microspectrometer Innovator

Thank you for the invitation and the Damo Academy Qingcheng Award. My name is Yang Zongyin. In the following, I will narrate my research journey, the origins of my work in microspectrometers, and the future developments in this field from the perspective of someone who has experienced it firsthand.

I was born in the 80s. Back then, resources were not as abundant as they are now. I had to create my own toys, often dismantling household electronics for parts. In elementary school, I only knew how to make simple toys like cars and boats using motors. One day, I discovered diodes and transistors from my sister’s middle school science textbook. Excited, I began to experiment and soon created a rectifier bridge with four diodes, and even a light-controlled alarm clock using leftover transistors and photoresistors from my sister’s science experiments. This experience ignited my profound interest in electronics, and I aspired to pursue research in this field.

In my freshman year at Zhejiang University, I was majoring in Applied Biology but later shifted to Mechanical Engineering and Automation, a field that fascinated me more. Once in the mechanical department, I thrived, participating in various competitions in robotics and mechanical electronic design, winning almost all the major national and provincial awards. This process significantly enhanced my practical skills and innovative thinking. My mentor, Professor Gu Daqiang, often advised us to use the most ingenious mechanisms to accomplish complex tasks, a mindset that has benefitted me for life.

During my enjoyable time in the mechanical department, as I approached my final year of undergraduate studies, a senior who guided me in robot competitions recommended me to his mentor, Professor Tong Limin from the Optoelectronic College of Zhejiang University, who later became my master’s advisor. After a long discussion with Professor Tong, he was excited by the potential he saw in me, commenting that I had many “bright spots” suitable for scientific research, and helped me secure a direct master’s program in Optoelectronics. Transitioning from mechanical to optoelectronic required a significant shift in thinking; instead of clever combinations of mature solutions, I was now dealing with cutting-edge research and tackling unknown problems. Initially, I assisted in growing nanomaterials, but as I became more adept, I began to think of challenging improvements. One day, inspired by the story of the German chemist Kekulé dreaming of a snake biting its tail and discovering the benzene ring, I wondered if I could create nanowires with varied ends that could connect end-to-end. This idea led me to design and assemble a complete experimental setup from scratch, utilizing my background in mechanical and electronic design. With this new setup, I grew bandgap-graded semiconductor nanowires (“rainbow” nanowires) and developed the world’s widest tunable spectrum laser, contributing to several high-impact publications.

My research on miniaturized spectrometers began with a spontaneous idea while observing the colorful emission of “rainbow” nanowires under a microscope during my master’s studies. I wondered if these colorful, glowing nanowires, already used in tunable lasers, could be fashioned into adjustable detectors to replace gratings or prisms. In 2014, I pursued my PhD at the University of Cambridge, where, despite the focus of my doctoral supervisor on printed flexible electronic devices being quite different from spectrometry, I persisted in exploring spectrometry alongside my assigned tasks. It was a challenging journey, with over 150 failed device attempts in the first three years alone. Each failure was an improvement on the last, but the accumulating pressure and consecutive disappointments were nearly overwhelming. Fortuitously, after a brief period of considering giving up, a conversation with a friend during a morning run led to a breakthrough. He suggested that the failures might be due to a lack of noise reduction in the algorithm. His assistance in writing a new algorithm led to my “final attempt,” which successfully detected a faint signal, marking the beginning of success that culminated in achieving results comparable to commercial spectrometers shortly before completing my doctorate.

My research presented a novel approach to spectrometry, addressing the significant challenge of dispersing light within a minimal space, thus enabling both miniaturization and high performance, traditionally considered incompatible. This device, only a few tens of micrometers in size—smaller than a strand of hair—was recognized by Science magazine editors and reviewers as a collective masterpiece of the most advanced material synthesis, superior device fabrication, and ingenious algorithm application.

Building on this technology, we have developed even smaller, higher-performance spectrometers that can be integrated into mobile phones and watches, among other portable devices. Despite the immediate challenges and the long-term potential of microspectrometers, I believe that as more people enter this field, issues related to spectral resolution and stability will be resolved. Identifying essential applications is challenging, as many seemingly impressive applications aren’t actually vital in everyday life. However, true necessities often relate to the broad field of health, and as microspectrometric devices become more common, various applications will emerge through experimentation. The performance of these devices will dictate their potential applications, and as microspectrometers improve, they will unlock a multitude of new applications.

Applause for Technological Advancement in Spectroscopy

Human technological civilization is directly driven by concrete technological advancements. Kudos to Yang Zongyin!!

Since Newton discovered the dispersion of light, spectroscopy has played an increasingly significant role in human production, daily life, and scientific research. Its applications range from measuring the states of distant stars to analyzing the composition of various materials, providing an irreplaceable function in many instances.

The advent of such miniature spectrometers will make spectral analysis more conveniently applicable to everyday life, bringing convenience and even significant changes to people’s lives.

One of the most immediate applications is non-invasive blood glucose monitoring. Using miniaturized spectrometers, it might be possible to develop compact and convenient non-invasive blood glucose monitoring devices, bringing great convenience to millions of people troubled by diabetes. They can monitor their blood sugar anytime and adjust their diet and exercise accordingly. This is especially critical for diabetics who, due to metabolic disorders, sometimes experience life-threatening hypoglycemia. Non-invasive glucose monitoring can timely alert the patient to low blood sugar levels, sometimes saving lives.

Innovation is never easy, and the hardship after 150 failures is imaginable. Yang Zongyin’s receipt of the 2023 Damo Academy Qingcheng Award is well deserved.

I hope the technology he invented can benefit the public and society as soon as possible. As someone in the high-risk group for diabetes (with a family history of diabetes), I look forward to one day using a blood glucose monitoring device developed from this miniaturized spectrometer to monitor my blood sugar levels and potentially prevent the onset of diabetes.

Finally, I also wish young scholars like Yang Zongyin greater contributions in their future research journeys!!!

This paper was submitted to the Science journal in May and was accepted in July. Moreover, it was evaluated by the editors as “the most advanced material synthesis, the most sophisticated experimental techniques, and the most ingenious algorithm in the world,” thanking him for placing China at the forefront of the miniaturization of spectrometers.

Using blood glucose monitoring on a wristwatch, my initial reaction to this application is that I have no idea how high the market potential could be.

Either it could hit the store shelves, or it could make it into textbooks. The highest realm of research – who came up with this? It’s so insightful!

I remembered a particularly funny incident when I was discussing research topics with a senior researcher whose interests were similar to mine. When the senior researcher was selected as one of the 35 people from Massachusetts, our boss jokingly said to the senior grad student in our lab, who was in his thirties and already had a receding hairline, “When will you be like this? Then I’ll feel relieved.” At that moment, the expression on my senior grad student’s face was identical to the Catfish Spirit from the Journey to the West. Now, thinking back, I can’t help but suppress my laughter.

I’m familiar with this. Back then, there was a research project to synthesize a very unique material structure. A senior student spent three years trying more than two hundred different methods but couldn’t succeed, leading to frustration. He switched to another research topic, and then a junior student took over. In less than half a year, he successfully synthesized the material, published it in a top journal, received a direct admission to study abroad, stayed at the university, became a young talent, and eventually became an associate dean. In fact, the senior student had already ruled out more than 200 impractical approaches initially, and there were only a few remaining options. Trying a bit more, and everything worked out. Well, it’s all fate.

Mentor mentioned this individual to me. I did some research and found out that they are in their early thirties and a doctoral supervisor at Zhejiang University. They are also one of the “35 Innovators Under 35” in the Chinese edition of MIT Technology Review and a participant in the Hundred Talent Program. It’s quite impressive…

Innovative Microspectrometer: Single-Nanowire Spectrometers

Yang Zongyin, a professor, has been actively participating in discussions upfront. Let’s take a closer look!

From his experiences, it’s evident that interest-driven, cutting-edge exploration, continuous experimentation, and unwavering dedication have been the keys to his innovative breakthroughs.

Success isn’t a matter of chance!

I also delved into Professor Yang’s 2019 article in “Science” titled “Single-nanowire spectrometers” [1], which has already been cited over 300 times.

Miniaturizing spectrometers Spectroscopy is a ubiquitous characterization tool spanning most scientific and many industrial disciplines. Most handheld spectrometers are based on tabletop optical components, which limits the scale to which these spectrometers can be shrunk. To address the desire for miniaturized spectrometers with a micrometer-scale (and smaller) footprint, Yang et al. developed such a microspectrometer based on single, compositionally engineered nanowire. This result is a practical step forward for the use of other light-sensitive nanomaterials for such ultra-miniaturized spectroscopy platforms.

Science also highlighted the innovation and significance of this work. Spectrometers are widely used in both research and industrial sectors, but existing optical components in spectrometers are relatively large, making it challenging to create compact and portable spectrometers. Professor Yang and his team have developed a microspectrometer based on nanowires, which lays an essential foundation for further development in miniature spectrometry.

In his paper, Professor Yang mentioned previous attempts to create microspectrometers that relied on algorithms to simultaneously process signals from multiple detectors for spectral reconstruction, thereby reducing the device size [2] [3]. However, these microspectrometers were complex arrays of millimeter-scale microdevices, making further size reduction challenging.

Professor Yang’s team developed a novel microspectrometer based on CdSxSe1-x nanowires, which can accurately reconstruct monochromatic and broadband spectra using a single nanowire, eliminating the need for complex or dispersive optical systems, greatly simplifying device complexity and reducing size.

The core of the device is CdSxSe1-x nanowires, with a gradient distribution of chemical composition along the length of the nanowire. One end primarily consists of CdS, while the other end primarily consists of CdSe, with a uniform transition in between. Consequently, the nanowire’s bandgap also has a gradient distribution along its length, ranging from 1.74 eV at one end to 2.42 eV at the other end. The photoluminescence spectrum of the nanowire covers the range of 500-700 nm (Figure 1A).

Afterwards, they fabricated numerous electrodes on the nanowires (Figure 1B, F), forming a row of microphotodetector arrays with sensitivity down to the attowatt (AW) level. When an unknown light is directed onto the nanowire device, the microphotodetector array detects the photocurrent signals. These detector array data are then read through a data selector (Figure 1F), and finally, an algorithm (Tikhonov regularization) reconstructs the spectrum of the unknown light (Figure 1G, H, I, J), enabling its detection.

The article demonstrates the practical detection capabilities of two devices, each with 30 and 38 microphotodetectors. For monochromatic light detection, these devices achieve resolution limits (full width at half maximum) of 8.5 nm and 7 nm, respectively (Figure 2A), comparable to traditional spectrometers (3 nm). For 570 nm light, these devices can distinguish peak positions spaced 15 nm apart (Figure 2B). If the peak separation is less than 10 nm, their devices cannot distinguish, making them slightly inferior to traditional spectrometers. As shown in Figure 2C, the devices' performance in the broadband range (500-600 nm) is comparable to traditional spectrometers.

The authors suggest that by improving nanowire quality, increasing the number of detectors, optimizing calibration, and algorithms, device resolution can be further enhanced.

The article also showcases the device’s spectral imaging capabilities, which are widely applicable in astronomy, precision agriculture, micro and nanoelectronics, and more. As shown in Figure 3, macroscopic images are focused onto the device using lenses (Figure 3A), and through scanning and algorithm reconstruction, the original images can be reproduced (Figure 3B, C, D, E). The spectral imaging performance is also comparable to traditional spectrometers (Figure 3F).

Finally, the article demonstrates the device’s in-situ microregion spectral imaging capabilities, showing its potential applications in cell biology and biomedicine. As shown in Figure 4, their device achieves in-situ spectral imaging of onion cells.

!{CdSxSe1-x device} !{Device Detection Parameters} !{Spectral Imaging} !{In-Situ Microregion Spectral Imaging}

Rapid Advancements in Spectrometers: From Large to Pocket-sized

The last time I encountered a spectrometer was over a decade ago at a dairy product company. It was quite sizable, and I heard it could analyze the composition of milk, such as sugar content and the like. Moreover, I was told that this device was not cheap.

I never expected that technology would progress so rapidly. Not only have these spectrometers become incredibly compact in size, but I’ve heard the costs have been reduced to just a dozen bucks or so. It seems that these miniature spectrometers will not only find applications in laboratories or businesses but also in conjunction with personal consumer electronics (3C products). People will be able to carry a scientific instrument with them, and with the help of an app, even ordinary individuals can determine the composition of various foods, making their consumption more trustworthy. This development is expected to drive significant improvements in China’s food industry, creating a trillion-dollar market!

Innovative Principle of Nanowire Spectrometers

I roughly understand it, not sure if it’s correct, but here’s a simple example:

  1. In a regular spectrometer, let’s say it uses CCD detection. It needs to first disperse light; otherwise, it can’t measure the spectrum. The reason is that all CCD pixel matrices have the same response function, leading to “same color, different spectrum” phenomenon. In simpler terms, suppose there’s a CCD with a red light response of 2 and a blue light response of 1. So, whether you use 0.5 parts of red light or 1 part of blue light, the measured value is the same, both are 1. This is because 2×0.5 = 1×1 = 1. So, if I measure just a 1, how can I differentiate whether it’s red or blue light? It seems impossible.

  2. How is this problem normally solved? We disperse the light first, for example, using a grating. Different wavelengths have different diffraction angles. We first tell the CCD, “This is blue light,” and then measure its response. But if we disperse the light first, we need an additional optical system.

  3. How does this invention address the issue? Imagine if I have not only one type of CCD but two. The first CCD has a red light response of 2 and a blue light response of 1. The second one has a red light response of 1 and a blue light response of 2. Can’t we skip the dispersion step? Because this way, we have two channels, even if the first channel is the same, the second channel will definitely be different. It’s a system of two linear equations that I can solve.

  4. Expanding on this, if I’m interested in visible light from 400 to 700 nm, with 1 nm sampling, could I use 301 different CCDs without dispersion? This nanowire array seems a bit like an array of CCDs with different responses, assembled like individual quantum dots.

This principle is quite intriguing, utilizing nanowires in this way is indeed clever. It seems somewhat similar to this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry related to quantum dots. It’s a similar kind of application. Regular spectrometers all require an optical system for dispersion, whether it’s a grating or a prism. But with this, it seems like it’s not necessary; you can just measure directly.

By the way, handheld spectrometers these days can easily sell for over 100,000 to 200,000 RMB.

If Alibaba focused on more innovations like this, they wouldn’t have had such a rough time over the years.

Innovative Nanowire Spectrometer: Advantages and Limitations

Many respondents have already discussed the main content of this work, so I’ll briefly summarize it:

The primary principle of this work is that the composition of nanowires varies along their length, resulting in different responses to wavelengths at different positions. By measuring the photocurrent at various positions on the nanowire’s 30 pairs/38 pairs of electrodes, the authors calculate the spectrum based on the response current functions obtained during calibration.

However, there are some limitations that restrict it from becoming a truly practical spectrometer:

  1. The production, transfer, and electrode preparation processes for nanowires are not easily scalable using standard techniques. This work involves changing the position of raw materials in the furnace to alter the material composition at different locations on the nanowire, which may result in issues with repeatability. This means that each nanowire device produced may require individual calibration. Additionally, transferring nanowires to a substrate doesn’t yield a regular, position-controlled nanowire array. Observing nanowire position and shape first and then designing and producing electrodes is not feasible for mass production.

  2. This work assumes that the measured spectrum is a superposition of Gaussian line shapes, which performs poorly for broad-spectrum light (as shown in Figure c). This assumption is not ideal because Gaussian line shapes with different center wavelengths are neither orthogonal nor complete. Therefore, fitting spectra with superimposed Gaussian line shapes has limitations. Even for a typical double-peak spectrum (as in Figure B), it would produce incorrect side peaks. Incorrect side peaks are undesirable for chemical measurements like blood glucose detection, which typically focus on specific peak values of certain components (e.g., Raman peaks). A measurement method that introduces incorrect peaks is a cause for concern.

  3. Besides the non-orthogonal and non-complete nature of the fitting function, it appears that the photocurrent responses at different positions on the nanowire are also non-orthogonal and non-complete. While the purpose of this paper might be to demonstrate that non-orthogonal photocurrent responses can still be used for spectroscopy, it also implies that each photodetector has a challenging dynamic range for effective operation.

  4. In summary, the performance metrics are not particularly impressive, even considering the aforementioned limitations. A resolution of 7 nm, significant measurement errors (Figure B seems to have around 30% error), and a wavelength drift of 1.3 nm over two months all raise concerns for practical applications.

In conclusion, I believe the term “smallest spectrometer” might be more appropriate for impressing journal editors and reviewers. As a form of promotion, it might not be ideal. Additionally, in my personal opinion, some aspects of this work that I find less appealing include:

  1. The images in the article have relatively low resolution, making them appear blurry.
  2. This work dates back to 2019, and it might be time for newer representative works.
  3. Professor Yang Zongyin’s research group has already presented another extremely small spectrometer, which raises questions about whether the previous work can still be considered the “smallest” and how the peripheral circuits are compared when assessing size.

On a side note, the idea of another extremely small spectrometer presented previously relies on a photodetector with varying wavelength response based on applied bias. By setting different biases, varying wavelength responses are obtained, and a similar approach was used for spectral measurement/fitting.

!{Nanowire Spectrometer}

I consider it a good and comprehensive story for journal purposes

Successful Career Development in Mechanical Engineering

The career path of this expert seems to provide a promising route for individuals with a passion for mechanical engineering, particularly those majoring in mechanical engineering during their undergraduate studies. Here’s a brief overview of their journey: they pursued a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, transitioned to the field of optoelectronics during their graduate studies, and completed their doctoral studies in electronic engineering at the University of Cambridge.

The transition in their career path was smooth, marked by a series of gradual progressions that allowed them to stay connected to their passion for mechanical engineering.

During my undergraduate years in mechanical engineering, a associate professor once told us that the mechanical engineering industry was facing challenges in recent years, primarily related to job opportunities. However, he emphasized that there was still significant value in deeply exploring the field, depending on one’s dedication.

In the years that followed, many of my peers switched to different fields, some pursued careers unrelated to mechanical engineering, while others who started with mechanical engineering in their undergraduate studies went on to pursue graduate and doctoral degrees. Several years later, it’s clear that the choice of mechanical engineering as an initial background did not significantly limit our career development, despite the initial challenges we faced as fresh graduates.

The mechanical engineering industry requires continuous industrial upgrades, which, in turn, necessitate ongoing research and talent development.

Upon reviewing this expert’s achievements and awards, it’s evident that their journey has been rich in accomplishments. These include the University of Cambridge International Student Full Scholarship, the 2019 National Outstanding Self-funded Study Abroad Special Excellence Award, participation in the Hundred Talents Program as a research fellow, recognition as an outstanding young scholar at Zhejiang University’s Qizhen Institute, awards for innovation and entrepreneurship at Zhejiang University, being selected as one of MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 in China, and their recent achievement of the Alibaba Damo Academy’s Young Orange Award.

While one cannot replicate someone else’s path to success, especially regarding awards and recognition, there is certainly much to learn and gain inspiration from for students who are already committed to the field of mechanical engineering.

This year’s Young Orange Awards included many individuals from fields such as biology, chemistry, and materials science. The purpose of the Alibaba Damo Academy is clear: to discover and cultivate talent in basic and cutting-edge research. From a different perspective, why do businesses engage in such initiatives? It’s because these fields offer significant potential for deep exploration, benefiting businesses, industries, and society as a whole. This can also be seen as a compass for predicting future trends.

In conclusion, it’s worth noting that many people online express concerns about the mechanical engineering industry, which I acknowledge (I am not personally involved in the field). However, it’s important to remember that negativity and skepticism are common across various industries. Predicting which industry will thrive in a decade is challenging. If you are already committed to a particular field, including mechanical engineering, there’s no need to be anxious. Successful individuals excel in diverse industries, regardless of the external perceptions and challenges.


This answer provides a brief introduction to the spectrometer developed by Professor Zongyin Yang. The research was reported in Science in 2019 [1], and readers interested in more details can refer to the original article. This answer serves as a summary and overview of that research.


The purpose of a spectrometer is to measure the intensity of incident light at different wavelengths, essentially obtaining a spectrum. Professor Yang’s approach involves designing a computational spectrometer based on spectral reconstruction principles. This method was initially reported by Professor Cao Hui in Nature Photonics in 2013 [2] and has since been explored for various applications, including spectral cameras and blood oxygen detection.

Methods and Design Principles

The spectrometer’s method is based on spectral reconstruction, and the underlying principles can be briefly explained as follows:

1. Detecting Light Intensity through Current in Materials

In simple terms, just as we learn in high school about the photoelectric effect, photons are absorbed, and electrons are excited from the valence band to the conduction band in materials. The operation of a photodetector is somewhat similar, where a certain intensity of light hitting specific semiconductor materials generates free charge carriers, creating a current in a reverse-biased PN junction. In essence, light intensity can be detected through the current generated in the material.

2. Summation of Current Corresponding to Light Intensity

For example, if light with a wavelength of λ1 and intensity I1 generates a current of I1 when incident, and light with a wavelength of λ2 and intensity I2 generates a current of I2, then when both these lights simultaneously hit, the resulting current is the sum of I1 and I2.

Extending this, when continuous light is incident, the detected current is:

Where I(λ) is the incident spectrum, and α(λ) can be understood as the photoconversion coefficient of a specific photodetector.

3. If We Manufacture Two Photodetectors

For instance, for light with a wavelength of λ1 and intensity I1 and light with a wavelength of λ2 and intensity I2 simultaneously incident, resulting in a current of I1 in photodetector 1 and a current of I2 in photodetector 2, we have:

We know that this forms a system of linear equations, and given the values of I(λ), we can easily calculate α(λ).

4. If We Manufacture 100 Photodetectors

Suppose we manufacture 100 photodetectors and pre-measure the photoconversion coefficients α(λ) for each photodetector at different wavelengths. We can then write:

By discretizing the incident spectrum (dividing it into n wavelengths), we obtain an n-element system of equations. Given I(λ) and the measured α(λ), we can solve for the spectral signal, e.g., using matrix inversion or minimum error methods (e.g., MATLAB CVX toolbox).

5. If We Place These 100 Photodetectors on a Single Nanowire

If we integrate these 100 photodetectors onto a single nanowire, with each detector separated by a certain length and an electrode to measure the current, we create an extremely compact on-chip computational spectrometer.

Personal Evaluation

Since I’m not directly involved in this field, I can only share some general insights. Please feel free to correct any inaccuracies or ask questions in the comments.

Compared to most scientific research, this work is indeed intriguing, but it still has several challenges to address:

  1. Due to the ill-conditioning of the matrix, it’s not guaranteed that the incident spectrum can always be accurately calculated.
  2. The cost of manufacturing photodetectors, which require calibration using lasers, can be relatively high for industrial production.
  3. The stability of this spectroscopy system might be a concern.


  1. Zongyin Yang et al., Single-nanowire spectrometers. Science 365, 1017-1020 (2019). DOI:10.1126/science.aax8814
  2. Redding, B., Liew, S., Sarma, R. et al. Compact spectrometer based on a disordered photonic chip. Nature Photon 7, 746–751 (2013).

If you found this information interesting, please consider giving it a thumbs up!

Innovation in Spectrometry: From Rockets to Tiny Devices

Some might not have a clear perspective on this innovation, so here’s a simple comparison:

SpaceX, the American aerospace company, creatively adopted specially-made stainless steel for the body of their massive rocket, Starship, designed for deep space exploration. While this idea seemed promising, it initially faced welding issues with stainless steel, leading to some testing accidents. People even jokingly said that welders could build rockets, but early on, it did cause some mishaps.

As many have witnessed, Starship’s historic maiden flight encountered a failure. However, in the final seconds before the explosion, Starship rotated in the air at an incredible speed. Typically, under such conditions, a launch vehicle would have disintegrated long before this point. Some humorously remarked that a rocket with such structural integrity could even survive a collision with a kangaroo.

So, how did SpaceX achieve this? They employed a special X-ray device for scanning, analyzing, and detecting potential defects in the rocket’s structure. Any areas with possible flaws were quickly identified, allowing the development team to make necessary modifications.

If we were to rate SpaceX’s use of the X-ray device in this scenario, it would probably get a score of 100. Now, the “world’s smallest spectrometer,” developed after 150 failed attempts, could easily score between 300 to 500.

This spectrometer effortlessly handles tasks like detecting pesticide residues, trichloroacetic acid residues, blood glucose levels, and various other applications. It holds unparalleled value in the civilian consumer market and offers potential for cutting-edge explorations.

Did anyone notice the word “smallest” in the title? While previous spectrometers could perform the tasks I mentioned, they were not easily portable. Professor Yang’s development of the world’s smallest spectrometer is a game-changer for these applications.

Professor Yang’s well-deserved recognition with the 2023 Alibaba DAMO Academy Orange Award truly reflects his achievements. The judges at DAMO Academy have a keen eye for talent, making this mutual recognition highly meaningful. Congratulations and keep up the great work!

More Intrigued by the Miniature Spectrometer

Rather than focusing on this individual, I’m more intrigued by the miniature spectrometer he developed. I did some research and discovered that this device is incredibly diabetes-friendly. The fact that it can non-invasively measure blood sugar levels alone is a remarkable achievement. Previously, testing blood sugar required a blood sample, and while it’s not a major inconvenience, having to prick your finger every day is certainly not pleasant.

Dealing with daily finger pricks can be unbearable. Moreover, aside from its blood sugar monitoring capabilities, this device has many other practical applications in daily life. For instance, it can detect melamine content in baby formula, check for pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables, and who knows, it might even be integrated directly into smartphones. If that were to happen, it could significantly enhance video security in China.

The most terrifying thing is when my former boss told me about his achievements. He said that if he follows his path, the cost of a spectrometer in the future can be controlled within 1000 yuan, and the cost of mobile phone accessories can be kept within a hundred yuan!