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Opt Lett. 2010 Jan 15;35(2):103-5. doi: 10.1364/OL.35.000103.

Mid-IR to near-IR image conversion by thermally induced optical switching in vanadium dioxide.

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CNR-INFM, Laboratory for Ultraviolet and X-ray Optical Research INFM-CNR, via Gradenigo 6/b,35131 Padova, Italy.


We demonstrate the image conversion from mid-IR to near-IR (NIR) exploiting high-contrast optical switching in vanadium oxide thin-film layers. The intensity distribution of a mid-IR beam is converted to NIR wavelengths exploiting the strong reflectivity changes induced by optical pumping in the mid-IR. We show an experimental setup in which the radiation of a Tm-doped fiber laser at 1940 microm and a carbon dioxide at 10.6 microm has been converted to both 850 nm and 1064 nm. The resolution was 35 microm and was reached by using an inexpensive CCD camera. The sensitivity of the device increases linearly with sample temperature. We measured a threshold of 144 mW/cm(2), with a sample temperature of 62 degrees C.

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