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Real-time imaging using a 2.8 THz quantum cascade laser and uncooled infrared microbolometer camera

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Abstract

Real-time imaging in the terahertz (THz) spectral range was achieved using a milliwatt-scale, 2.8THz quantum cascade laser and an uncooled, 160×120  pixel microbolometer camera modified with Picarin optics. Noise equivalent temperature difference of the camera in the 15THz frequency range was estimated to be at least 3K, confirming the need for external THz illumination when imaging in this frequency regime. Despite the appearance of fringe patterns produced by multiple diffraction effects, single-frame and extended video imaging of obscured objects show high-contrast differentiation between metallic and plastic materials, supporting the viability of this imaging approach for use in future security screening applications.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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