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Proceedings Paper

Design study of a laser-cooled infrared sensor
Author(s): Markus P. Hehlen; William L. Boncher; Steven P. Love
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Paper Abstract

The performance of a solid-state optical refrigerator is the result of a complex interplay of numerous optical and thermal parameters. We present a first preliminary study of an optical cryocooler using ray-tracing techniques. A numerical optimization identified a non-resonant cavity with astigmatism. This geometry offered more efficient pump absorption by the YLF:10%Yb laser-cooling crystal compared to non-resonant cavities without astigmatism that have been pursued experimentally so far. Ray tracing simulations indicate that ~80% of the incident pump light can absorbed for temperatures down to ~100 K. Calculations of heat loads, cooling power, and net payload heat lift are presented. They show that it is possible to cool a payload to a range of 90–100 K while producing a net payload heat lift of 80 mW and 300 mW when pumping a YLF:10%Yb crystal with 20 W and 50 W at 1020 nm, respectively. This performance is suited to cool HgCdTe infrared detectors that are used for sensing in the 8–12 μm atmospheric window. While the detector noise would be ~6× greater at 100 K than at 77 K, the laser refrigerator would introduce no vibrations and thus eliminate sources of microphonic noise that are limiting the performance of current systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 March 2015
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9380, Laser Refrigeration of Solids VIII, 93800I (10 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2077846
Show Author Affiliations
Markus P. Hehlen, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
William L. Boncher, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Steven P. Love, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9380:
Laser Refrigeration of Solids VIII
Richard I. Epstein; Denis V. Seletskiy; Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, Editor(s)

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