Science and Engineering

Northwestern University

Hooman Mohseni, Melville Ulmer, Olivier Guyon
Evanston, IL
$1,000,000
June 2015

A team at Northwestern University aims to transform the field of near-infrared (NIR) imaging by designing, creating and testing a new NIR camera with far better sensitivity and utility than existing detector technologies.  The promise of this camera derives from its use of proprietary bio-inspired electron injectors, a technology whose capabilities geometrically increase as the size of the injectors decreases.  The team will develop novel solutions that address long-standing sensitivity limitations of NIR cameras.  Once the camera is completed, the team will demonstrate its capabilities by the direct imaging of exoplanets on the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.  The camera will eventually make possible images of Earth-like exoplanets with extremely large telescopes such as the Thirty Meter Telescope now under construction.  Ultimately, this NIR camera promises as well to impact medical imaging (e.g., deep tissue optical coherence tomography), 3D imaging (e.g., for self-driving vehicles) and photon-number resolving (e.g., for scalable quantum computing).

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