TopTIR™ Technology and Products
Tunability in infrared lasers is an essential feature for spectroscopy. Broad tunability greatly enhances detection of molecular absorption lines by scanning off and on (or through) spectral features of interest, while removing the effects of contaminants or other “background” interference sources. Tuning over a wide wavelength range is also ideal for detecting multiple gases, liquids, and complex molecules throughout the 3-12 micron infrared region. Virtually all complex molecules, from carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons to explosives, proteins and pharmaceuticals have detectable spectral fingerprints in this wavelength range.
RedShift’s proprietary TopTIR technology offers a true solid state solution to this essential tuning requirement for infrared lasers. Compared to other solutions – such as mechanically adjusted gratings – there are no moving parts or mechanical mechanisms with the TopTIR solutions. As a result, RedShift’s tunable filters can reduce system size, lower assembly complexity, provide precise wavelength control, and promise greater reliability in industrial and man portable environments.
RedShift’s expertise in thermo optic materials, thin film optical coatings, micro electro mechanical (MEMS) processes, and infrared technology uniquely position the company in the tunable infrared laser marketplace. TopTIR filters use electrical signals to provide thermal optic tuning without motion, enabling very compact laser designs. An integrated heater and temperature sensor combined with external electronics provides precise control of wavelength over varying operational and environmental conditions.
Because devices are fabricated at a wafer level using MEMS-based semiconductor processing, the devices are well suited for high volume, low cost applications. The filters can be used over a range of ambient temperatures and conditions, making them suitable for most industrial applications. In TopTIR lasers products, filters are combined with a laser gain chip and optics for integration into a compact telecom style package that can readily be integrated into OEM product offerings.
The company is currently in the development stage for the TopTIR technology and is delivering customized prototypes to our OEM and other partners who see the promise of tunable infrared lasers in a variety of applications and markets.
Optical Thermal Imaging
The heart of RedShift's Optical Thermal Imaging platform is the Thermal Light Valve (TLV). The TLV translates difficult-to-image thermal radiation into light which can be imaged by standard digital camera electronics. The TLV chip itself is a passive optical component with no electronics or moving parts. It is simple to manufacture in standard foundries with only a handful of mask steps. And since it essentially converts a standard digital camera into a thermal camera, the whole system can be made in high volumes and at very low costs using standard components and assembly techniques.
The TLV is truly unique among all thermal imaging devices and in particular for those that use optical readout technology. Through the use of patented diffractive imaging techniques, the TLV readout optically cancels the all the background light, leaving only the signal resulting from temperature differences in the image. This optical background subtraction leaves the full dynamic range of the readout for the infrared signal while eliminating the background shot noise that normally degrades the performance of optical readouts.
An example of the imagery from a TLV based thermal imaging system can be seen here.
RedShift is no longer producing TLV products but is licensing its portfolio of TLV related optical imaging patents to interested parties. If you are interested in obtaining a license, please contact us at email@example.com.