Enhancement of Infrared Sensing and Imaging
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Infrared detection and imaging are amongst the most widely used optical sensing and imaging modalities outside the visible spectrum. The longer wavelength of light in the infrared band reduces scattering in many media and hence allows deeper imaging in a wide range of applications, from optical tomography to deep space imaging. In addition, most molecules have vibrational frequencies in the infrared band that enable many powerful techniques, such as remote sensing and hyperspectral imaging. Despite such high demands, infrared detectors and imagers remain the performance bottleneck in many critical applications.
I will briefly evaluate the physics of such limitations, and present novel approaches that we have developed in my lab to address some of the inherent limitations of the existing infrared detectors and imagers. In particular, I will present devices that are based on two general concepts of local enhancement of light-matter interaction, and charge compression. Our new results from novel Nano-Injection detectors show over two orders of magnitude higher sensitivity compared with best existing short-wave infrared (SWIR) devices, while in parallel they can produce imagers with very high pixel resolution and frame rates. System-level comparison with state-of-the-art includes a SWIR camera and a medical optical coherence tomography (OCT) system. I will also present similar significant improvements in the long wave infrared (LWIR).
Finally, I will discuss the application of the above general concepts to our other infrared sensing activities, such as chip-scale molecular sensing and optical probing of neurons in live and awake mouse, and present their significant performance enhancements.
Hooman Mohseni received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2001. He then joined Sarnoff Corporation, where he was a Member of Technical Staff leading several government, domestic, and international commercial projects. He joined Northwestern University as a faculty member in 2004. Mohseni is a recipient of National Science Foundation's CAREER Award in 2006, and Young Faculty Award from Defense Advanced Project Agency (DARPA) in 2007. He was selected by NSF as a US delegates in US-Japan Young Scientist Exchange Program on Nanotechnology in 2006 and US-Korea Nano-manufacturing Exchange program in 2007. He was invited to National Academy of Engineering's review panel on infrared detectors in 2010, and to its Frontiers in Engineering in 2013. Mohseni has served as the Advisory Board, Program Chair and Co-chair in several major conferences including IEEE Photonics, SPIE Optics and Photonics, and SPIE Security and Defense. He has published over 110 peer-reviewed articles in major scientific journals including Nature, Nano Letters, Small, and ACS Nano. He holds 14 issued US and International patents on novel optoelectronic devices and nano-processing. He is a Fellow of SPIE and Optical Society of America.