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Sources and Detectors Group

The Sources and Detectors Group conducts research on the characterization of lasers, detectors, and related components.

Principally through measurement services and innovation, the group provides the optoelectronics industry with traceability to national standards. Activities of the group are currently carried out in three project areas: Laser Radiometry, Laser Applications, and Terahertz Imaging and Sources. 

Research in the Laser Radiometry Project is concerned with measuring laser, detector, and component properties such as laser power, laser beam profile, detector spectral responsivity, detector linearity and the attenuation of transmission components. To calibrate detectors and instruments used to measure the power or energy produced by a laser, the project has developed a family of standards that allow the accurate comparison of absorbed optical power to dissipated electrical power. Together, these standards permit calibrations at power levels from nanowatts to hundreds of kilowatts and energy levels from femtojoules to megajoules. Wavelength ranges include the visible through the near infrared, and selected wavelengths in the ultraviolet and mid infrared. For more information, see the Measurement Services section of this site. Instruments designed to receive power either in collimated beams or through optical fibers can be accommodated.

High power lasers capable of continuous output powers ranging from hundreds of watts to tens-of-thousands of watts present exciting opportunities for rapid, directed delivery of energy – particularly in the area of materials processing and laser machining. These same high power lasers also present difficult challenges for the accurate measurement of their delivered power. The Laser Applications Project exists to enhance NIST's ability to measure high power laser output parameters with the necessary accuracy and ease of use. This is done by developing, testing, and implementing unique technologies such as a thermal flowing-water-based approach and a force-based technique using optical radiation pressure. The Laser Applications Project also makes use of NIST's high power laser facilities to develop technologies and measurement tools associated with laser machining and materials processing. Our 10 kW fiber laser and integrated laser welding booth provide opportunity for the development of supporting metrology for materials processing related to such applications as photovoltaic manufacturing and laser welding. 

News and Updates

Projects and Programs

High-Power Laser Applications

High power lasers capable of continuous output powers ranging from hundreds of watts to tens-of-thousands of watts present exciting opportunities for rapid

Quantum Radiometry Project

Calibrated and characterized single photon sources and detectors are building blocks of the infrastructure required to achieve widely used, industrialized

Laser Radiometry

Accurate characterization of photonic equipment is important for optical communications, medical devices, semiconductor lithography, manufacturing and materials

Publications

BABAR: Black Array of Broadband Absolute Radiometers for far infrared sensing

Author(s)
Christopher S. Yung, Nathan A. Tomlin, Cameron Straatsma, Joel Rutkowski, Erik Richard, Dave Harber, John H. Lehman, Michelle S. Stephens
Currently at NIST, there is an effort to develop a black array of broadband absolute radiometers (BABAR) for far infrared sensing. The linear array of

Inline Laser Power Measurement by Photon Momentum

Author(s)
John H. Lehman, Paul A. Williams, Daniel W. Rahn, Kyle A. Rogers
We present a measurement scheme and instrumentation for quantifying laser power by means of photon momentum. The optical design is optimized such that the

Radiation-Pressure Enabled Traceable Laser Sources at High CW Powers

Author(s)
Paul A. Williams, Alexandra B. Artusio-Glimpse, Joshua A. Hadler, Daniel King, Ivan Ryger, Tam Vo, John H. Lehman, Kyle A. Rogers
Radiation pressure has recently been shown to have practical application for multi-kilowatt CW laser power measurement. One key advantage lies in its ability to

Awards

Contacts

Group Leader and Group Administrator