The spectral hole-burning device: a 3-dimensional photon detector.


We present the principles of a new device that combines a high-resolution spectrometer (0.001nm spectral resolution, 10nm bandwidth) with maximum efficiency, a large detector (pixel size 1μm by 1μm, overall size 2cm by 2cm), and a very high density data storage device (up to 400TB) in a single optical device. This device is based on persistent spectral hole-burning in a dye-doped polymer at temperatures of a few K. It is called a Spectral Hole-Burning Device (SHBD) in analogy to Charge Coupled Devices (CCD). A SHBD can be thought of as a color film with extremely high spectral resolution: it records the intensity in the visible or the near- infrared according to the two-dimensional position and the wavelength. Therefore it is a 3-dimensional photon detector. We show first results from laboratory measurements that prove the feasibility of a SHBD.

Astronomy & Astrophysics Supplemental Series