Wavelength Conversion Module
The core of the NLIR technology is the wavelength conversion module that upconverts mid-infrared wavelengths to near-visible, enabling the use of Si and GaAs detectors.
Read more about how the conversion works in “Technology”.
Accepted wavelengths are in the bandwidth 1.9 – 5.3 µm, and they are upconverted to the bandwidth 682 nm – 886 nm by a 1064 nm high-power laser inside a LiNbO3 crystal. Only the vertical polarization component is upconverted, which may reduce the amount of signal converted but correspondingly it also reduces the converted noise to half. After conversion, efficient spectral filtering below 695 nm and above 886 nm cuts away residual noise.
The size of the bandwidth in an upconversion module has a significant impact on the efficiency of photon conversion. For the smallest bandwidths of around 50 nm, the conversion efficiency can reach up to 0.1, enabling extremely sensitive measurements. Meanwhile, wider simultaneous conversion such as 3.3 µm to 5.3 µm results in a conversion efficiency of approximately 0.005, and even wider conversion from 1.9 µm to 5.3 µm has a conversion efficiency of 0.0005. The ideal combination of bandwidth and conversion efficiency varies depending on many factors, but even the lower conversion efficiencies offer new possibilities for measuring, particularly in spectroscopic applications. Higher conversion efficiencies, coupled with the right visible-light detector, can provide some of the fastest and most sensitive infrared measurement methods available.
The translation to near-visible wavelengths gives further advantages than lower noise-equivalent power. Higher detection speed than conventional MIR detectors is readily available by just plugging the output fiber into a GHz GaAs detector; 10 GHz or even 25 GHz detectors are available off-the-shelf. Even further, standard near-visible light detectors often come pre-amplified with a response of up to GV/W, which eases the measurement of the electrical output.
The NLIR wavelength conversion module is an extremely versatile tool for any mid-infrared laboratory. Flexibility in mid-infrared measurement equipment is often desirable but expensive to buy. With the wavelength conversion module many different affordable detectors and spectrometers become available, and in many cases, it even gives better performance than using expensive conventional mid-infrared detectors.
NB! The spectral resolution of the upconverted light is approx. 2.5 cm-1. If your application requires better resolution, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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