23 July 2014 A calibration method for the measurement of IR detector spectral responses using a FTIR spectrometer equipped with a DTGS reference cell
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Various high performance IR detectors are today available on the market from QWIPs to narrow gap semiconductor photodiodes, which exhibit various spectral features. In the astrophysics community, the knowledge of the detector spectral shape is of first importance. This quantity (spectral QE or response) is usually measured by means of a monochromator followed by an integrating sphere and compared to a calibrated reference detector. This approach is usually very efficient in the visible range, where all optical elements are very well known, particularly the reference detector. This setup is also widely used in the near IR (up to 3μm) but as the wavelength increases, it becomes less efficient. For instance, the internal emittance of integrating spheres in the IR, and the bad knowledge of reference detectors for longer wavelengths tend to degrade the measurement reliability. Another approach may therefore be considered, using a Fourier transform IR spectrometer (FTIR). In this case, as opposed to the monochromator, the tested detector is not in low flux condition, the incident light containing a mix of different wavelengths. Therefore, the reference detector has to be to be sensitive (and known) in the whole spectral band of interest, because it will sense all those wavelengths at the same time. A popular detector used in this case is a Deuterated Triglycine Sulfate thermal detector (DTGS). Being a pyro detetector, the spectral response of such a detector is very flat, mainly limited by its window. However, the response of such a detector is very slow, highly depending on the temporal frequency of the input signal. Moreover, being a differential detector, it doesn’t work in DC. In commercial FTIR spectrometers, the source luminance is usually continuously modulated by the moving interferometer, and the result is that the interferogram mixes optical spectral information (optical path difference) and temporal variations (temporal frequency) so that the temporal transfert function of the DTGS has to be qualified and taken into account. The usual way is to measure it directly by means of an optical shopper and a locking amplifier for different shopping frequencies. We present here an alternative method to estimate this DTGS transfer function, based on the fact that a FTIR continuous scan interfergram contains the different spectral frequencies of interest. Such a calibration method doesn’t need a specific setup as it can be performed in standard configuration, playing only with spectrometer parameters. It allows for the precise estimation of detector spectral shapes. However, this measurement is not absolute and the peak response needs therefore to be estimated using a calibrated black body cavity. The method, its results and limits is presented and discussed for a set of different DTGS cells.
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Olivier Gravrand, J. Wlassow, L. Bonnefond, "A calibration method for the measurement of IR detector spectral responses using a FTIR spectrometer equipped with a DTGS reference cell", Proc. SPIE 9154, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VI, 91542O (23 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2060253; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2060253

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