|Contents||Astronomy is a discipline that aims to reveal the birth of a galaxy, that is, the scheme of a primeval galaxy. Since light from a primeval galaxy is redshifted due to a Doppler effect (cosmic expansion), observation at a wavelength in the infrared region is needed. However, light in this wavelength range is absorbed strongly by water vapor in the air and has conventionally been impossible to observe on the ground.
In the laboratory, they have developed a "multi-point chopping observation" device to solve this problem, in which the telescope optical path is switched instantaneously in the vicinity of the imaging device to achieve higher resolution through information processing on multiple images. The optical path switching is performed by vibrating a mirror at high speed (100Hz) and high precision (10nm) using a piezoelectric element. This is the world's first device developed to allow for high-precision observation even under a bad atmospheric condition. What remains for use under a vacuum and low-temperature environment is to improve its durability. They have also been trying to improve and develop an optical path switching device using a moving-coil or moving-magnet-type actuator and/or micromechanical hinge (miniature lever).
They have further been developing a spectroscopic filter (with a wavelength range of 20 to 40µm) aiming at the improvement of resolution and transmittance in the mid-infrared region. This is completely different from traditional ones in that micropatterns are printed (by photolithography) on a gold film to form a spectroscopic filter.
Mid-infrared spectroscopy can analyze the type and state of molecules instantaneously, being characterized by its applicability to solid, powdery, fibrous, paste, liquid, solution, and gaseous samples and its contactless (nondestructive) operation. This method is now utilized in online process measurement for film thickness, coating thickness and composition, etc. and biological analysis. Further improvement in resolution will expand its application to the analysis of ground objects by artificial satellites and aircrafts.
We hope to work with your company if you are interested in the development and application of miniaturized mechanics under a low-temperature environment and high-sensitive and high-precision infrared spectrometers being studied and developed in the laboratory.
MIYATA, Takashi, Professor
Graduate School of Science, Institute of Astronomy
Multi-Point Chopping System for Mid-Infrared (Thermal-Infrared) Observation
In this chopping system under development, the optical path is switched by vibrating the mirror on the right at high speed. The entire system is made of aluminum alloy and used at 10K or less.
(C) MIYATA Lab.