Abstract

We propose a scheme for imaging mid-infrared (MIR) wavelengths via pre-excitation-assisted up-conversion luminescence in lanthanide ion (${{\rm Ln}^{3 +}}$)-doped Self-organizing Optical FIber Array (SOFIA) crystal. First, near-infrared pre-excitation wavelength excites an electron from the ground state to an excited state of ${{\rm Ln}^{3 +}}$. Next, the MIR wavelength to be imaged promotes this excited electron to a higher-lying energy state. Finally, relaxation of the electron from the higher-lying energy state to the ground state emits the up-conversion luminescence in the visible region, completing the MIR-to-visible wavelength conversion. An analysis of the $4f$ to $4f$ intra-configurational energy level transitions in ${{\rm Ln}^{3 +}}$, together with an appropriate selection of the pre-excitation wavelength and the visible luminescence constrained within the 500–700 nm wavelength range, reveals that trivalent erbium (${{\rm Er}^{3 +}}$), thulium (${{\rm Tm}^{3 +}}$), holmium (${{\rm Ho}^{3 +}}$), and neodymium (${{\rm Nd}^{3 +}}$) can be used to image MIR wavelengths. Our proposed scheme, called MIR imAging through up-Conversion LuminEscence in a SOFIA crystal, will enable the imaging of MIR wavelengths using low-cost optics and readily available silicon-based detectors in the visible spectral region and will open up new possibilities for MIR wavelength detection and imaging.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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