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Photonics 2016, 3(2), 28; doi:10.3390/photonics3020028

Recent Advances and Applications of External Cavity-QCLs towards Hyperspectral Imaging for Standoff Detection and Real-Time Spectroscopic Sensing of Chemicals

1
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, Tullastrasse 72, 79108 Freiburg, Germany
2
Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS, Maria-Reiche-Strasse 2, 01109 Dresden, Germany
3
Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT, Joseph-von-Fraunhofer Str. 7, 76327 Pfinztal, Germany
4
Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Giggenhauser Straße 35, 85354 Freising, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 27 April 2016 / Accepted: 30 April 2016 / Published: 13 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Cascade Lasers - Advances and New Applications)
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Abstract

External-cavity quantum cascade lasers (EC-QCL) are now established as versatile wavelength-tunable light sources for analytical spectroscopy in the mid-infrared (MIR) spectral range. We report on the realization of rapid broadband spectral tuning with kHz scan rates by combining a QCL chip with a broad gain spectrum and a resonantly driven micro-opto-electro-mechanical (MOEMS) scanner with an integrated diffraction grating in Littrow configuration. The capability for real-time spectroscopic sensing based on MOEMS EC-QCLs is demonstrated by transmission measurements performed on polystyrene reference absorber sheets, as well as on hazardous substances, such as explosives. Furthermore, different applications for the EC-QCL technology in spectroscopic sensing are presented. These include the fields of process analysis with on- or even inline capability and imaging backscattering spectroscopy for contactless identification of solid and liquid contaminations on surfaces. Recent progress in trace detection of explosives and related precursors in relevant environments as well as advances in food quality monitoring by discriminating fresh and mold contaminated peanuts based on their MIR backscattering spectrum is shown. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum cascade lasers; external cavity quantum cascade lasers; MOEMS grating; quantum cascade laser based spectroscopy; imaging laser backscattering spectroscopy; inline spectroscopic analysis quantum cascade lasers; external cavity quantum cascade lasers; MOEMS grating; quantum cascade laser based spectroscopy; imaging laser backscattering spectroscopy; inline spectroscopic analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ostendorf, R.; Butschek, L.; Hugger, S.; Fuchs, F.; Yang, Q.; Jarvis, J.; Schilling, C.; Rattunde, M.; Merten, A.; Grahmann, J.; Boskovic, D.; Tybussek, T.; Rieblinger, K.; Wagner, J. Recent Advances and Applications of External Cavity-QCLs towards Hyperspectral Imaging for Standoff Detection and Real-Time Spectroscopic Sensing of Chemicals. Photonics 2016, 3, 28.

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