Use of 2.7-THz Quantum Cascade Laser and Microbolometer Camera for Imaging of Concealed Objects
Behnken, Barry N.
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Imaging in the terahertz regime (0.3-10 THz) is currently conducted primarily through the use of antenna-coupled semiconductor detectors or superconducting bolometers. These detection schemes are often bulky and unable to support real-time imaging due to their dependence upon complex scanning mechanisms. For imaging applications it is desirable to employ focal plane arrays (FPAs) which leads to more compact systems. Microbolometer FPAs, which produce images based on temperature change due to infrared absorption, have a broad wavelength response and, unlike photon-based FPAs, can be operated at room temperature. While advances in microbolometer technology allow real-time imaging in the 7-13 μm wavelength range with high sensitivity, the ability to detect THz radiation with such devices is relatively unknown. In this paper, we report the successful imaging of various objects using a 2.7 THz (110 μm) quantum cascade laser source and optically modified microbolometer camera. Imaging results—produced through single-frame and video recordings of metallic objects obscured by opaque plastic-confirm that this detection scheme allows for high-contrast differentiation between metallic and non-metallic materials, and supports the viability of this method for use in security screening applications.
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Fabio Alves; Grbovic, Dragoslav; Karunasiri, Gamani (SPIE, 2014);There has been a continued interest in the terahertz (THz) imaging due to penetration and non-ionizing properties. Real- time imaging in this spectral range has been demonstrated using infrared microbolometer technology ...
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