Implementation of an optical readout system for high-sensitivity terahertz microelectromechanical sensor array
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In this thesis, an optical readout scheme was successfully developed based on the Fourier 4F optical configuration and integrated with a custom-fabricated microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based, terahertz (THz), detector array. The MEMS THz detector array and 4F Fourier optics were able to transduce the THz scene into an optical signal that was captured by a commercial charged coupled device (CCD) camera for generating images. A quantum cascade laser (QCL) provided the THz illumination for generating images while post-image processing performed background subtraction in order to obtain the THz scene. The Fourier 4F optical readout system that was implemented was able to profile the general shape of the QCL beam pattern and displayed good linearity of response of about 23 gray level values per Kelvin. The concept of optical readout from a micromechanical sensor array was also validated.
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