Optical Beam Deflection Thermal Imaging

Reference#: P00017

The present invention provides a thermal imaging method to evaluate the surface and subsurface properties of a material and is based on techniques of optical beam deflection thermal imaging. The invention uses a localized excitation source, such as an optical beam, to provide localized heating of the sample surface. A surface thermal gradient is induced on the sample surface as heat flows, in three dimensions, from the area of localized excitation into the test material. The surface temperature gradient causes a thermal refractive lens to be generated in the fluid (gas or liquid) adjacent to the sample surface. An optical probe beam is directed through the thermal lens and is deflected by changes in a refractive index of the thermal lens. Changes in the refractive index are induced by variations of the surface temperature. In this manner, a detailed surface temperature profile can be generated which reveals surface and subsurface properties of the material tested.

Mr. J. E. Dietz
Phone: (443) 778-2782

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Patent Drawing