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9 May 2012 Uncooled photomechanical terahertz imagers
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We have designed, built, and tested an uncooled THz imager based on optical readout photomechanical imaging technology, in which a MEMS-based sensor chip transduces the THz scene into a visible signal that is captured by a CCD imager. The performance of the 130x90 resolution, 100 μm pitch, 30 fps uncooled THz imager was measured using the λ = 119 μm (2.52 THz) emission line of a CO2-pumped methanol gas laser. Excellent linearity of the responsivity was observed over a wide range of laser power. The noise equivalent power (NEP), limited by shot noise from the optical readout, was 76 pW/Hz1/2. Switching to a high-capacity CCD imager to reduce shot noise and tailoring the photomechanical pixel structure for THz absorption will yield an NEP of less than 1 pW/Hz1/2. In addition, the uncooled THz imager successfully profiled the output beam of a λ=134 um (2.24 THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) in real time, with performance far superior to a commercial pyroelectric array camera.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Matthew Erdtmann, Lei Zhang, Shankar Radhakrishnan, Shuyun Wu, Thomas M. Goyette, and Andrew J. Gatesman "Uncooled photomechanical terahertz imagers", Proc. SPIE 8363, Terahertz Physics, Devices, and Systems VI: Advanced Applications in Industry and Defense, 83630C (9 May 2012);


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