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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Stephen A. Burns
  • Vol. 24, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 2007
  • pp: 764–775

Coupled-mode theory for infrared and submillimeter wave detectors

George Saklatvala, Stafford Withington, and Michael P. Hobson  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 24, Issue 3, pp. 764-775 (2007)

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We present a comprehensive, spatiotemporal, modal theory of submillimeter-wave and far-infrared power detectors. The theory is based on the contraction of the coherence tensor of the light with another coherence tensor that incorporates all of the physics of the detector. The theory is extremely general and applies to detectors of any bandwidth, with light in any state of polarization and spatiotemporal coherence. The theory applies equally to quasi-monochromatic and pulsed systems. We show that the tensor associated with the detector is a measureable quantity and outline a procedure for its experimental determination. We derive expressions for the statistical properties of a detector’s output, including the correlations between the outputs of different detectors, say, in an array or interferometer. The theory provides a clear conceptual understanding of how any general detector couples to the modes of an optical system and thereby provides a powerful and flexible way of modeling the behavior of detectors and instruments.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(030.4070) Coherence and statistical optics : Modes
(030.4280) Coherence and statistical optics : Noise in imaging systems
(040.1240) Detectors : Arrays
(040.1880) Detectors : Detection
(040.3060) Detectors : Infrared

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: March 3, 2006
Revised Manuscript: June 23, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: August 14, 2006
Published: February 14, 2007

George Saklatvala, Stafford Withington, and Michael P. Hobson, "Coupled-mode theory for infrared and submillimeter wave detectors," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 764-775 (2007)

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