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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

The optics and physics of near infrared imaging
Author(s): Michael Vollmer; Klaus-Peter Möllmann; Joseph A. Shaw

Paper Abstract

A large part of photonics research and development, as well as commercial applications such as optical data transmission or infrared thermal imaging, occurs in the infrared spectral range between 0.8 μm and 15 μm. However, relatively little material is so far available for experimentally teaching the physics and optics of this spectral range. We report a respective new approach in the near infrared (NIR) range between 0.8 μm and 1.7 μm that allows visualization of a number of fascinating physics phenomena. First, we use the near-infrared sensitivity of silicon-based detectors in rather inexpensive video cameras and digital single-lens reflex cameras by removing the infrared-blocking filter and replacing it with a visible-radiation blocking filter. Second, we utilize modern NIR cameras based on InGaAs detectors. With both camera types we illustrate and explain a number of physics concepts that are especially suitable for curricula in optics and photonics. Examples include the strangely bright appearance of vegetation, contrast enhancement between clouds and sky, the initially surprising differences of optical material properties between the VIS and NIR range, the possibilities of visualizing buried hidden structures and texts, and recent medical applications to locate blood vessels below the skin.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2015
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9793, Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2015, 97930Z (8 October 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2223094
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Vollmer, Univ. of Applied Sciences Brandenburg (Germany)
Klaus-Peter Möllmann, Univ. of Applied Sciences Brandenburg (Germany)
Joseph A. Shaw, Montana State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9793:
Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2015

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