Room temperature upconversion imaging and detection in the mid-infrared with single photon detection capability

The mid-infrared (2-12 ┬Ám) wavelength range is an emerging new topic for frontier research. Its general importance relates to a multitude of mid-IR industrial and biomedical sensor applications. In particular, the chemical fingerprints of most complex molecules such as those found in food, tissue or catalytic compounds all have vibrational spectra in the mid-IR, thus identifiable through mid-IR spectroscopy.

The main obstacle for the exploitation of the mid-IR optical window has been a historical lack of efficient mid-IR excitation light sources and sensitive mid-IR detectors/imaging devices.

At DTU Fotonik, the Optical Sensor Technology Group has developed a new concept for IR light detection, where mid-IR light, rather than detected directly, are translated to near visible light for sensitive detection using CCD cameras, thus resulting in very low systems noise, even at room temperature. Here both theory and different applications will be presented