Probing tissue for early signs of disease can be performed via long wave infrared spectroscopy. One technique uses wavelength dependent absorption of specific molecules which serve as early indicators of disease onset in human tissue. One reason long wave spectroscopy is not more widely used, is that long wave detectors are expensive and slow. Another deterrent is that typical long wave light sources, such as tunable quantum cascade lasers, are difficult to tune over the several-micron-wide wavelength ranges, limiting the molecule types, and thus diseases, that can be probed. We are developing a laser and non-linear optical wavelength conversion system to address these issues by using: 1. A 1064 nm laser driven, long wave, Barium Gallium Selenide (BGSe) optical parametric oscillator (OPO) as the broadly tunable optical probe and 2. A BGSe-based sum frequency generator (SFG) to convert the tissue probing long wave light to the near infrared - where faster, lower cost, and more sensitive optical detectors can be used. In this presentation we report our progress toward developing such a laser and nonlinear optical wavelength conversion system for use in early detection of disease in human tissue. Specifically, we share our beam waist characterization and M2 beam quality measurements of the diode laser. In addition we communicate the impact of upgrading the thermal management system for the diode laser. We also report the optical performance of our newly constructed CW Nd:YVO4 and discuss how that performance informs the design of the Q-switched version of this laser. And lastly, we convey some of the design specifications for the BGSe crystal that will comprise the nonlinear medium of the long wave OPO.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Format: In Person
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: York Young