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How to choose an Infrared Source

Our Instrument Grade Thermal IR sources are designed for use in analytical instruments, typically to provide IR photons which will be used to measure chemical concentration by absorption measurement.

If your target absorption is fairly large (often this means the target chemical concentration is relatively large), then you should first consider using an electrically modulated source and a (slow) thermal detector like a thermopile or pyroelectric.

If the signal to be measured is low, a DC source plus an external modulator is probably required.

If your wavelength(s) of interest correspond to those for which IR LEDs exist (3 to 5.4 microns), consider these small, convenient, long life (but sometimes not sufficiently powerful) sources.

For the ULTIMATE in sensitivity, Quantum Cascade Lasers are your best choice.  These are tunable, powerful, and have very narrow line width.  They are also costly but prices are expected to fall in the foreseeable future.


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