Tunable nonlinear material shows promise for mid-infrared remote sensing

Optical remote sensing has played an increasingly important role in evaluating changes in the earth`s atmosphere. Where these changes include the presence of trace amounts of toxic compounds, detection with an infrared source becomes appealing [see related article on p. 87]. This is because most chemical compounds have "signature" rotational/vibrational transitions in the mid-infrared (8-11 µm) wavelength region. Probing these absorption lines requires a continuously tunable source with narr

Optical remote sensing has played an increasingly important role in evaluating changes in the earth`s atmosphere. Where these changes include the presence of trace amounts of toxic compounds, detection with an infrared source becomes appealing [see related article on p. 87]. This is because most chemical compounds have "signature" rotational/vibrational transitions in the mid-infrared (8-11 ┬Ám) wavelength region. Probing these absorption lines requires a continuously tunable source with narrow linewidth, so that one can lock onto characteristic lines. If one employs remote sensing to monitor chemical species in the atmosphere, the source also requires high average power.

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