Low noise upconversion of IR images by three-wave mixing, can be performed with high efficiency when mixing the object with a powerful laser field inside a highly non-linear crystal such as periodically poled Lithium Niobate. This feature effectively allows the use of silicon based cameras for detection of infrared images. Silicon cameras have much smaller intrinsic noise than their IR counter part- some models even offer near single photon detection capability. We demonstrate that an ordinary CCD camera combined with a low noise upconversion has superior noise characteristics when compared to even state-of-the art IR cameras.
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SPIE Photonics West : Nonlinear Frequency Generation and Conversion: Materials, Devices, and Applications XI, 2012