Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A Compact Micro-Bolometer Array for Mid-Infrared Laser Beam Alignment, Diagnostics and Spot-Size Measurement

Version 1 : Received: 5 December 2019 / Approved: 7 December 2019 / Online: 7 December 2019 (00:11:31 CET)

How to cite: Clark, I.; Towrie, M. A Compact Micro-Bolometer Array for Mid-Infrared Laser Beam Alignment, Diagnostics and Spot-Size Measurement. Preprints 2019, 2019120085 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201912.0085.v1). Clark, I.; Towrie, M. A Compact Micro-Bolometer Array for Mid-Infrared Laser Beam Alignment, Diagnostics and Spot-Size Measurement. Preprints 2019, 2019120085 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201912.0085.v1).

Abstract

Knowledge of a lasers beam’s profile throughout a laser system and experiment can help immensely in diagnosing laser problems and assisting in beam alignment and focusing at a sample. Obtaining such profiles is a trivial task in the ultraviolet-visible wavelength range but more challenging with near-infrared to infrared beams. Scientific grade bolometer arrays, suitable for such a task, do exist but are extremely costly, relatively large and have a large pixel size, of the order of 80 μm, which is adequate for profiling larger beams but poses an issue when trying to profile sub 100 μm beams for example at a focal point. This communication identifies a micro-bolometer array for near- to mid-infrared laser beam profiling, which is extremely low cost. In addition, the device is very compact, enabling use in confined spaces, and has a small, 12 μm, pixel size permitting the profiling of focused laser beams. The best scientific grade device identified has a pixel size of 17 μm. This device is a powerful tool for infrared laser spectroscopists, reducing the time required to measure the spot size of beams and to achieve spatial overlap of multiple infrared beams as used in two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy, saving many hours of setup time. The use of the bolometer array as a spectrographic detector and probe of long-term beam drifts is also demonstrated.

Subject Areas

beam profiler; bolometer; laser spot-size; infrared; infrared spectroscopy; time-resolved spectroscopy

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