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Proceedings Paper

Remote sensing of explosives using mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers
Author(s): F. Fuchs; Ch. Wild; Benjamin Kirn; W. Bronner; B. Raynor; K. Koehler; J. Wagner
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Paper Abstract

The spectroscopic detection of complex molecules, such as explosives, requires a much broader spectral tuning range of the employed laser compared to the well-established tunable diode laser spectroscopy of light molecules. In this paper we demonstrate a new type of spectrally-tunable laser modules, which enables an increase of the tuning range by at least one order of magnitude in comparison to the established current-temperature tuning techniques. This was achieved by increasing the operating temperature range through the use of a temperature-variable diamond submount. The module comprises a quantum cascade (QC) laser mounted on the diamond submount with an integrated heater element and temperature sensor, enabling a controlled temperature change of the laser between 77 K and 400 K at a rate of temperature change of up to 2500 K/s. The favorable temperature characteristics allow us to easily tune the laser wavelength on- and off-resonance with the characteristic absorption bands of the material to be detected. With the QC laser module we demonstrate the detection of surface contaminations of around 10 μg/cm2 TNT performing imaging backscattering spectroscopy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 November 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6739, Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Detection, and Photonic Technologies and Their Applications, 673904 (7 November 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.737094
Show Author Affiliations
F. Fuchs, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik (Germany)
Ch. Wild, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik (Germany)
Benjamin Kirn, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik (Germany)
W. Bronner, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik (Germany)
B. Raynor, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik (Germany)
K. Koehler, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik (Germany)
J. Wagner, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6739:
Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Detection, and Photonic Technologies and Their Applications
Gary W. Kamerman; Ove K. Steinvall; Keith L. Lewis; Keith A. Krapels; Keith A. Krapels; John C. Carrano; Arturas Zukauskas, Editor(s)

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