X-ray vision type camera to quickly retrieve 3D images


3D imaging of a resin structure fabricated near the absorption resonance of the carbon-hydrogen vibrational bond. Credit: Dmitry Fishman, Eric Potma, David Knez / UCI

It’s not exactly x-ray vision, but it’s close. In research published in the journal Optical, University of California, Irvine researchers describe a new type of camera technology that, when pointed at an object, can quickly retrieve 3D images, displaying its chemical content down to the micrometer scale. The new technology promises to help businesses inspect things like the inside of computer chips without having to open them.

“This is an article on a way to visualize things in 3D very quickly, even at the pace of video,” said Dmitry Fishman, director of laser spectroscopy laboratories in the UCI Department of Chemistry, who , with Eric Potma, professor of chemistry, directed the work. The new imaging technology is based on a so-called non-linear optical effect in silicon, a semiconductor material used in cameras and visible light detectors.

With such a nonlinear optical effect, conventional silicon detectors can detect light coming from the mid infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The reason is, Fishman explained, that the mid-infrared spectral region contains important information about the chemical composition of the material. “Most of the vibrations and molecular signatures are in the mid-infrared range,” he said.

Other technologies, he explained, are slow to retrieve images because laser light has to sweep over the object, a process that takes longer. A nonlinear optical “trick” with short laser pulses allowed us to capture a deeply resolved image on a camera in a single take, providing an alternative method to what others do – and the breakthrough is that it’s not only faster, but also produces 3D images with chemical contrast, ”Fishman said.

And imaging technology isn’t just for computer chips. Potma explained that the system can also image things like the ceramics used to make things like heat shield plates on space shuttles and reveal clues to structural weaknesses that might be there.

The research follows work by Potma and Fishman and a team of researchers published last year in Nature‘s Light: science and applications which describes the first steps towards creating efficient mid-infrared sensing technology using standard silicon-based cameras. Back then, the technology was just starting to take shape, but now, Fishman explained, it’s about to be ready for the mainstream. “This time we made it a lot more efficient and better,” he said.

New detection method turns silicon cameras into mid-infrared detectors

More information:
Eric O. Potma et al, Fast mid-infrared chemically selective 3D imaging, Optical (2021). DOI: 10.1364 / OPTICA.426199

Provided by the University of California, Irvine

Quote: An X-ray vision-type camera to quickly retrieve 3D images (2021, July 22) retrieved on November 11, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-07-x-ray-vision-like -camera-rapidly -3d.html

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