Abstract

We present and characterize a two-dimensional (2D) imaging spectrometer based on a virtually imaged phased array (VIPA) disperser for rapid, high-resolution molecular detection using mid-infrared (MIR) frequency combs at 3.1 and 3.8 μm. We demonstrate detection of CH4 at 3.1 μm with >3750 resolution elements spanning >80nm with 600MHz resolution in a <10μs acquisition time. In addition to broadband detection, we also demonstrate rapid, time-resolved single-image detection by capturing dynamic concentration changes of CH4 at a rate of 375 frames per second. Changes in absorption above the noise floor of 5×104 are readily detected on the millisecond time scale, leading to important future applications such as real-time monitoring of trace gas concentrations and detection of reactive intermediates.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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