University of Delaware, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Molecular vibrations are resonant with electromagnetic radiation in the infrared (IR) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (0-100THz) making vibrational spectroscopy a very powerful tool for identifying complex molecular compounds, ranging from proteins to explosives. However, the photon energy of IR radiation is often too small to detect using standard room temperature semi-conductor devices. In addition, far-IR radiation (0-10THz) overlaps with the radiation of a blackbody at room temperature, making spectral separation from the thermal background difficult. For this reason, current IR detection technology often utilizes cryogenically cooled detectors, which in addition to being very expensive are not easily portable, making field and/or clinical applications very difficult. In this talk, I will be discussing new techniques for detecting infrared radiation using standard semi-conductor technology by utilizing non-linear optical methods. This new technology may lead to low-cost, portable detection tools for research, clinical, and security applications.
Location: Physics Bldg., Room 401