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1.
Opt Express ; 27(7): 10221-10233, 2019 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31045166

RESUMO

We report a coherent terahertz (THz) imaging system that utilises a quantum cascade laser (QCL) operating in pulsed-mode as both the source and detector. The realisation of a short-pulsed THz QCL feedback interferometer permits both high peak powers and improved thermal efficiency, which enables the cryogen-free operation of the system. In this work, we demonstrated pulsed-mode swept-frequency laser feedback interferometry experimentally. Our interferometric detection scheme not only permits the simultaneous creation of both amplitude and phase images, but inherently suppresses unwanted background radiation. We demonstrate that the proposed system utilising microsecond pulses has the potential to achieve 0.25 mega-pixel per second acquisition rates, paving the pathway to video frame rate THz imaging.

2.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 17648, 2018 Nov 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30504784

RESUMO

A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has been fixed in the paper.

3.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 7236, 2017 08 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28775327

RESUMO

The effects of optical feedback (OF) in lasers have been observed since the early days of laser development. While OF can result in undesirable and unpredictable operation in laser systems, it can also cause measurable perturbations to the operating parameters, which can be harnessed for metrological purposes. In this work we exploit this 'self-mixing' effect to infer the emission spectrum of a semiconductor laser using a laser-feedback interferometer, in which the terminal voltage of the laser is used to coherently sample the reinjected field. We demonstrate this approach using a terahertz frequency quantum cascade laser operating in both single- and multiple-longitudinal mode regimes, and are able to resolve spectral features not reliably resolved using traditional Fourier transform spectroscopy. We also investigate quantitatively the frequency perturbation of individual laser modes under OF, and find excellent agreement with predictions of the excess phase equation central to the theory of lasers under OF.

4.
Opt Express ; 25(9): 10153-10165, 2017 May 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28468390

RESUMO

We propose a laser feedback interferometer operating at multiple terahertz (THz) frequency bands by using a pulsed coupled-cavity THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) under optical feedback. A theoretical model that contains multi-mode reduced rate equations and thermal equations is presented, which captures the interplay between electro-optical, thermal, and feedback effects. By using the self-heating effect in both active and passive cavities, self-mixing signal responses at three different THz frequency bands are predicted. A multi-spectral laser feedback interferometry system based on such a coupled-cavity THz QCL will permit ultra-high-speed sensing and spectroscopic applications including material identification.

5.
Opt Express ; 24(19): 21948-56, 2016 Sep 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27661929

RESUMO

We explain the origin of voltage variations due to self-mixing in a terahertz (THz) frequency quantum cascade laser (QCL) using an extended density matrix (DM) approach. Our DM model allows calculation of both the current-voltage (I-V) and optical power characteristics of the QCL under optical feedback by changing the cavity loss, to which the gain of the active region is clamped. The variation of intra-cavity field strength necessary to achieve gain clamping, and the corresponding change in bias required to maintain a constant current density through the heterostructure is then calculated. Strong enhancement of the self-mixing voltage signal due to non-linearity of the (I-V) characteristics is predicted and confirmed experimentally in an exemplar 2.6 THz bound-to-continuum QCL.

6.
Sensors (Basel) ; 16(9)2016 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27598157

RESUMO

Optical interrogation of suspicious skin lesions is standard care in the management of skin cancer worldwide. Morphological and functional markers of malignancy are often combined to improve expert human diagnostic power. We propose the evaluation of the combination of two independent optical biomarkers of skin tumours concurrently. The morphological modality of reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) is combined with the functional modality of laser Doppler flowmetry, which is capable of quantifying tissue perfusion. To realize the idea, we propose laser feedback interferometry as an implementation of RCM, which is able to detect the Doppler signal in addition to the confocal reflectance signal. Based on the proposed technique, we study numerical models of skin tissue incorporating two optical biomarkers of malignancy: (i) abnormal red blood cell velocities and concentrations and (ii) anomalous optical properties manifested through tissue confocal reflectance, using Monte Carlo simulation. We also conduct a laboratory experiment on a microfluidic channel containing a dynamic turbid medium, to validate the efficacy of the technique. We quantify the performance of the technique by examining a signal to background ratio (SBR) in both the numerical and experimental models, and it is shown that both simulated and experimental SBRs improve consistently using this technique. This work indicates the feasibility of an optical instrument, which may have a role in enhanced imaging of skin malignancies.


Assuntos
Diagnóstico por Imagem , Fluxometria por Laser-Doppler/métodos , Microscopia Confocal/métodos , Método de Monte Carlo , Neoplasias Cutâneas/diagnóstico , Humanos , Interferometria , Análise Numérica Assistida por Computador , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Processamento de Sinais Assistido por Computador
7.
Opt Express ; 24(18): 20554-70, 2016 Sep 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27607659

RESUMO

Optical feedback effects in lasers may be useful or problematic, depending on the type of application. When semiconductor lasers are operated using pulsed-mode excitation, their behavior under optical feedback depends on the electronic and thermal characteristics of the laser, as well as the nature of the external cavity. Predicting the behavior of a laser under both optical feedback and pulsed operation therefore requires a detailed model that includes laser-specific thermal and electronic characteristics. In this paper we introduce such a model for an exemplar bound-to-continuum terahertz frequency quantum cascade laser (QCL), illustrating its use in a selection of pulsed operation scenarios. Our results demonstrate significant interplay between electro-optical, thermal, and feedback phenomena, and that this interplay is key to understanding QCL behavior in pulsed applications. Further, our results suggest that for many types of QCL in interferometric applications, thermal modulation via low duty cycle pulsed operation would be an alternative to commonly used adiabatic modulation.

8.
Sensors (Basel) ; 16(3)2016 Mar 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27005629

RESUMO

We propose a self-consistent method for the analysis of granular materials at terahertz (THz) frequencies using a quantum cascade laser. The method is designed for signals acquired from a laser feedback interferometer, and applied to non-contact reflection-mode sensing. Our technique is demonstrated using three plastic explosives, achieving good agreement with reference measurements obtained by THz time-domain spectroscopy in transmission geometry. The technique described in this study is readily scalable: replacing a single laser with a small laser array, with individual lasers operating at different frequencies will enable unambiguous identification of select materials. This paves the way towards non-contact, reflection-mode analysis and identification of granular materials at THz frequencies using quantum cascade lasers.

9.
Appl Opt ; 54(9): 2193-8, 2015 Mar 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25968500

RESUMO

For the first time to our knowledge, we apply the multiple signal classification (MUSIC) algorithm to signals obtained from a self-mixing flow sensor. We find that MUSIC accurately extracts the fluid velocity and exhibits a markedly better signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) than the commonly used fast Fourier transform (FFT) method. We compare the performance of the MUSIC and FFT methods for three decades of scatterer concentration and fluid velocities from 0.5 to 50 mm/s. MUSIC provided better linearity than the FFT and was able to accurately function over a wider range of algorithm parameters. MUSIC exhibited excellent linearity and SNR even at low scatterer concentration, at which the FFT's SNR decreased to impractical levels. This makes MUSIC a particularly attractive method for flow measurement systems with a low density of scatterers such as microfluidic and nanofluidic systems and blood flow in capillaries.

10.
Appl Opt ; 54(1): 18-26, 2015 Jan 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25967002

RESUMO

We present a comprehensive analysis of factors influencing the morphology of the Doppler spectrum obtained from a laser-feedback interferometer. We explore the effect of optical system parameters on three spectral characteristics: central Doppler frequency, broadening, and signal-to-noise ratio. We perform four sets of experiments and replicate the results using a Monte Carlo simulation calibrated to the backscattering profile of the target. We classify the optical system parameters as having a strong or weak influence on the Doppler spectrum. The calibrated Monte Carlo approach accurately reproduces experimental results, and allows one to investigate the detailed contribution of system parameters to the Doppler spectrum, which are difficult to isolate in experiment.

11.
Appl Opt ; 54(2): 312-8, 2015 Jan 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25967631

RESUMO

We present a simple analytical model that describes the injection current and temperature dependence of optical feedback interferometry signal strength for a single-mode laser diode. The model is derived from the Lang and Kobayashi rate equations, and is developed both for signals acquired from the monitoring photodiode (proportional to the variations in optical power) and for those obtained by amplification of the corresponding variations in laser voltage. The model shows that both the photodiode and the voltage signal strengths are dependent on the laser slope efficiency, which itself is a function of the injection current and the temperature. Moreover, the model predicts that the photodiode and voltage signal strengths depend differently on injection current and temperature. This important model prediction was proven experimentally for a near-infrared distributed feedback laser by measuring both types of signals over a wide range of injection currents and temperatures. Therefore, this simple model provides important insight into the radically different biasing strategies required to achieve optimal sensor sensitivity for both interferometric signal acquisition schemes.

12.
Biomed Opt Express ; 5(11): 3981-9, 2014 Nov 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25426324

RESUMO

There is considerable interest in the interrogation of biological tissue at terahertz (THz) frequencies, largely due to the contrast in the optical properties of different biological tissues which occur in this electro-magnetic radiation band. Of particular interest are THz biomedical images, which have the potential to highlight different information than those acquired in other frequency bands, thereby providing an augmented picture of biological structures. In this work, we demonstrate the feasibility of an interferometric biological imaging technique using a THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) operating at 2.59 THz to perform coherent imaging of porcine tissue samples. We show the potential of this new THz biomedical imaging technique for in vivo studies, by virtue of its reflection geometry and useful tissue penetration depth enabled by the large THz powers emitted by the quantum cascade laser used in this work. The observed clustering of interferometric tissue signatures opens a pathway towards automatic techniques for the discrimination of healthy tissue types for the study of normal physiology and possible therapeutic approaches.

13.
Opt Express ; 22(15): 18633-47, 2014 Jul 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25089482

RESUMO

Recently, we demonstrated an interferometric materials analysis scheme at terahertz frequencies based on the self-mixing effect in terahertz quantum cascade lasers. Here, we examine the impact of variations in laser operating parameters, target characteristics, laser-target system properties, and the quality calibration standards on our scheme. We show that our coherent scheme is intrinsically most sensitive to fluctuations in interferometric phase, arising primarily from variations in external cavity length. Moreover we demonstrate that the smallest experimental uncertainties in the determination of extinction coefficients are expected for lossy materials.

14.
Appl Opt ; 53(17): 3723-36, 2014 Jun 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24921138

RESUMO

Self-mixing laser sensors show promise for a wide range of sensing applications, including displacement, velocimetry, and fluid flow measurements. Several techniques have been developed to simulate self-mixing signals; however, a complete and succinct process for synthesizing self-mixing signals has so far been absent in the open literature. This article provides a systematic numerical approach for the analysis of self-mixing sensors using the steady-state solution to the Lang and Kobayashi model. Examples are given to show how this method can be used to synthesize self-mixing signals for arbitrary feedback levels and for displacement, distance, and velocity measurement. We examine these applications with a deterministic stimulus and discuss the velocity measurement of a rough surface, which necessitates the inclusion of a random stimulus.

15.
Opt Lett ; 39(2): 394-7, 2014 Jan 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24562155

RESUMO

We compare the performance of a self-mixing (SM) sensing system based on an uncooled monolithic array of 24×1 vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) in two modes of operation: single active channel and the concurrent multichannel operation. We find that the signal-to-noise ratio of individual SM sensors in a VCSEL array is markedly improved by multichannel operation, as a consequence of the increased operational temperature of the sensors. The performance improvement can be further increased by manufacturing VCSEL arrays with smaller pitch. This has the potential to produce an imaging system with high spatial and temporal resolutions that can be operated without temperature stabilization.

16.
Opt Express ; 21(19): 22194-205, 2013 Sep 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24104111

RESUMO

The terahertz (THz) frequency quantum cascade laser (QCL) is a compact source of high-power radiation with a narrow intrinsic linewidth. As such, THz QCLs are extremely promising sources for applications including high-resolution spectroscopy, heterodyne detection, and coherent imaging. We exploit the remarkable phase-stability of THz QCLs to create a coherent swept-frequency delayed self-homodyning method for both imaging and materials analysis, using laser feedback interferometry. Using our scheme we obtain amplitude-like and phase-like images with minimal signal processing. We determine the physical relationship between the operating parameters of the laser under feedback and the complex refractive index of the target and demonstrate that this coherent detection method enables extraction of complex refractive indices with high accuracy. This establishes an ultimately compact and easy-to-implement THz imaging and materials analysis system, in which the local oscillator, mixer, and detector are all combined into a single laser.

17.
Appl Opt ; 52(14): 3345-50, 2013 May 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23669850

RESUMO

Based on the nature of self-mixing signals, we propose the use of the multiple signal classification (MUSIC) algorithm in place of the fast Fourier transform (FFT) for processing signals obtained from self-mixing interferometry (SMI). We apply this algorithm to two representative SMI measurement techniques: range finding and velocimetry. Applying MUSIC to SMI range finding, we find its signal-to-noise ratio performance to be significantly better than that of the FFT, allowing for more robust, longer-range measurement systems. We further demonstrate that MUSIC enables a fundamental change in how SMI Doppler velocity measurement is approached, letting one discard the complex fitting procedure and allowing for a real-time frequency estimation process.

18.
Physiol Meas ; 34(2): 281-9, 2013 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23363933

RESUMO

Optical sensing offers an attractive option for detection of surface biopotentials in human subjects where electromagnetically noisy environments exist or safety requirements dictate a high degree of galvanic isolation. Such circumstances may be found in modern magnetic resonance imaging systems for example. The low signal amplitude and high source impedance of typical biopotentials have made optical transduction an uncommon sensing approach. We propose a solution consisting of an electro-optic phase modulator as a transducer, coupled to a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser and the self-mixing signal detected via a photodiode. This configuration is physically evaluated with respect to synthesized surface electrocardiographic (EKG) signals of varying amplitudes and using differing optical feedback regimes. Optically detected EKG signals using strong optical feedback show the feasibility of this approach and indicate directions for optimization of the electro-optic transducer for improved signal-to-noise ratios. This may provide a new means of biopotential detection suited for environments characterized by harsh electromagnetic interference.


Assuntos
Mapeamento Potencial de Superfície Corporal/instrumentação , Eletrocardiografia/instrumentação , Eletrônica/instrumentação , Interferometria/instrumentação , Dispositivos Ópticos , Desenho de Equipamento , Análise de Falha de Equipamento , Estudos de Viabilidade , Humanos , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Sensibilidade e Especificidade
19.
Appl Opt ; 52(33): 8128-33, 2013 Nov 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24513768

RESUMO

We present the miniaturization of self-mixing interferometry (SMI) into a microfluidic circuit using an optical fiber, forming an optofluidic device that can be used as a component in lab on a chip systems. We characterize the performance of the device as a fluid velocity (and hence flow) sensor, showing it to produce good accuracy and correlation with theory over a range of velocities from 0.5 to 60 mm/s and almost four decades of scatterer concentration. SMI in an optofluidic system has the advantage that only a single path to the optical inspection point is needed, as the laser source is also the receiver of light. In addition, the same system that is used for measuring fluid velocity can be used to measure other quantities such as particle size. The configuration presented is inherently easy to optically align due to the self-aligned property of SMI and divergent nature of light exiting the embedded optical fiber, providing for low-cost manufacturing.


Assuntos
Tecnologia de Fibra Óptica/instrumentação , Interferometria/instrumentação , Fluxometria por Laser-Doppler/instrumentação , Técnicas Analíticas Microfluídicas/instrumentação , Transdutores , Desenho de Equipamento , Análise de Falha de Equipamento , Miniaturização
20.
Opt Lett ; 36(18): 3690-2, 2011 Sep 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21931434

RESUMO

We demonstrate a method for maintaining the maximum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the signal obtained from the self-mixing sensor based on a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL). It was found that the locus of the maximum SNR in the current-temperature space can be well approximated by a simple analytical model related to the temperature behavior of the VCSEL threshold current. The optimum sensor performance is achieved by tuning the laser current according to the proposed model, thus enabling the sensor to operate without temperature stabilization in a wide temperature range between -20 °C and +80 °C.

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