Time-domain mid-infrared frequency-comb spectrometer

Opt Lett. 2004 Jul 1;29(13):1542-4. doi: 10.1364/ol.29.001542.


A novel type of Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) is demonstrated. It is based on two Ti:sapphire lasers emitting femtosecond pulse trains with slightly different repetition frequencies. Two mid-infrared beams-derived from those lasers by rectification in GaSe-are superimposed upon a detector to produce purely time-domain interferograms that encode the infrared spectrum. The advantages of this spectrometer compared with the common FTIR include ease of operation (no moving parts), speed of acquisition (100 micros demonstrated), and not-yet-shown collimated long-distance propagation, diffraction-limited microscopic probing, and electronically controllable chemometric factoring. Extending time-domain frequency-comb spectroscopy to lower (terahertz) or higher (visible, ultraviolet) frequencies should be feasible.