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Remote sensing of explosives using mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers

Ferndetektion von Explosivstoffen im mittleren Infrarot mit Quantenkaskadenlasern
: Fuchs, F.; Wild, C.; Rahmouni, Y.; Bronner, W.; Raynor, B.; Köhler, K.; Wagner, J.


Kamerman, G.W. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Detection and Photonic Technologies and their Applications : 15 October 2007, Florenz, Italy
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2007 (SPIE Proceedings Series 6739)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-6897-0
Paper 673904
Conference "Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Detection and Photonic Technologies and their Applications" <2007, Florenz>
Fraunhofer IAF ()
remote sensing; Ferndetektion; back scattering; Rückstreuung; infrared; Infrarot; quantum cascade laser; Quantenkaskadenlaser; diamond module; Diamantmodul

The spectroscopic detection of complex molecules, such as explosives, requires a much broader spectral tuning range of the employed laser compared to the well-established tunable diode laser spectroscopy of light molecules. In this paper we demonstrate a new type of spectrally-tunable laser modules, which enables an increase of the tuning range by at least one order of magnitude in comparison to the established current-temperature tuning techniques. This was achieved by increasing the operating temperature range through the use of a temperature-variable diamond submount. The module comprises a quantum cascade (QC) laser mounted on the diamond submount with an integrated heater element and temperature sensor, enabling a controlled temperature change of the laser between 77 K and 400 K at a rate of temperature change of up to 2500 K/s. The favorable temperature characteristics allow us to easily tune the laser wavelength on- and off-resonance with the characteristic absorption bands of the material to be detected. With the QC laser module we demonstrate the detection of surface contaminations of around 10 µg/cm2 TNT performing imaging backscattering spectroscopy.