The mid infrared QCL using by the researchers features a brightness level; that exceeding even that of synchrotron sources; which are only available in specialized facilities. The laser’s brightness means it can be using for mid infrared spectroscopic ellipsometry of highly absorbing materials or substances; including those dissolved in water.
Spectroscopic ellipsometry measures how the polarization of light changes after interacting with a sample. When performed in the infrared portion of the spectrum, this approach can reveal detailed information about a sample’s chemical composition and molecular orientation. This relatively new type of laser is at least 10,000 times brighter than the traditional light sources used for spectroscopic ellipsometry.
Mid infrared laser
The study method providing access to sample properties; that could not be observing in real-time before; head of the research team from RECENDT. “QCL ellipsometry could help improve manufacturing processes and the quality of the resulting product.
It might also reveal previously unobservable physical and biological processes that would lead to new scientific discoveries. The laser’s emission wavelengths can be tunning over a broad mid-infrared range; that matching perfectly with commercially available mid-infrared detectors. Another advantage is that it can be using for spectroscopic measurements without expensive; and complex optical components such as monochromators or interferometers.
The laser we used also offers the possibility of spot sizes; that are restricted only by the diffraction-limit of light; a member of the research team from RECENDT. This can be exploiting for ellipsometric measurements with high spatial resolutions; which will be of interest for both science and industry.
The study plan to develop the instrument further; and want to fully exploit the possibility of diffraction limited laser spots to acquire hyperspectral mid infrared ellipsometry images; which would contain the entire spectrum for each pixel of the image with reasonable acquisition times. The sub-second time resolution combining with the high brightness of the laser will be useful for numerous industrial and scientific applications.