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Opt Express. 2009 Aug 3;17(16):14395-404.

Experimental study of high sensitivity infrared spectrometer with waveguide-based up-conversion detector(1).

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  • 1Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA.


We have developed an up-conversion spectrometer for signals at single photon levels near the infrared region based on a tunable up-conversion detector that uses a periodically poled lithium niobate waveguide as the conversion medium. We also experimentally studied its characteristics including sensitivity, dark count rate, spectral scan speed, signal transfer function of the waveguide, and polarization sensitivity. The overall single photon detection efficiency of the up-conversion spectrometer is about 32%. With its ultra high sensitivity the spectrometer can measure spectra for signals at a level as low as -126 dBm. We have demonstrated the spectrometers high sensitivity by measuring the spectrum of a greatly attenuated multimode emission from a laser diode at the 1310 nm band.

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