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Self-gated mid-infrared short pulse upconversion detection for gas sensing

: Wolf, Sebastian; Trendle, Tobias; Kießling, Jens; Herbst, Johannes; Buse, Karsten; Kühnemann, Frank

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Optics Express 25 (2017), No.20, pp.24459-24468
ISSN: 1094-4087
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IPM ()
nonlinear optic; upconversion; parametric process; infrared spectroscopy

Pulsed nonlinear-optical upconversion is used for mid-infrared signal detection. A setup for both mid-infrared generation and upconversion based on a single pump laser enables sensitive light detection and is utilized for gas spectroscopy. With the demonstrated pulsed setup, quantum efficiencies above 80 % for the upconversion of a Gaussian beam signal and 25 % for the upconversion of backscattered radiation are achieved and in agreement with theoretical predictions. Combined with efficient background suppression due to spectral and temporal gating, this results in highly sensitive detection of the infrared signals. As a demonstration of application, the presented system is used for methane sensing in an open path geometry, highlighting the potential for stand-off leak detection with a concentration resolution better than 1.5 ppm·m.