Research ArticleOPTICS

Hyperspectral infrared microscopy with visible light

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Science Advances  30 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 44, eabd0460
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd0460


Hyperspectral microscopy is an imaging technique that provides spectroscopic information with high spatial resolution. When applied in the relevant wavelength region, such as in the infrared (IR), it can reveal a rich spectral fingerprint across different regions of a sample. Challenges associated with low efficiency and high cost of IR light sources and detector arrays have limited its broad adoption. Here, we introduce a new approach to IR hyperspectral microscopy, where the IR spectral map is obtained with off-the-shelf components built for visible light. The method is based on the nonlinear interference of correlated photons generated via parametric down-conversion. In this proof-of-concept we demonstrate the chemical mapping of a patterned sample, where different areas have distinctive IR spectroscopic fingerprints. The method provides a wide field of view, fast readout, and negligible heat delivered to the sample, which opens prospects for its further development for applications in material and biological studies.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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