IR emitters are thermal emitters. There are two types available: traditional emitters based on metal alloys and MEMS emitters based on diamond-like carbon (DLC).
Variably pulsable up to 100 Hz at temperatures of up to 750°C.
In the following text "IR emitters" refer to thermal emitters (as opposed to diode lasers).
Emitters from CAL Sensors and Intex are available at LASER COMPONENTS and are delivered in a TO housing. They usually compete with special, inexpensive micro incandescent lamps in applications as special incandescent lamps often deliver a pretty good radiation cone at up to 4.5 µm. At larger wavelengths, the use of IR emitters is imperative; however, there are two good reasons why the use of special IR emitters could make sense even below 4.5 µm. For one, IR emitters are mechanically robust. For another, there are types that are perfectly suited for electrical pulsing (some up to 100 Hz).
Emitters from CAL Sensors
Emitters from CAL Sensors (CAL-Source) are based on metal alloys. They are available as coils (SA series, DC type for non-pulsed operation) or as small metal bands (SVF series, for pulsed operation). A parabolic mirror is integrated by default. The technology used is robust and has been proven many times over – improvements are almost impossible. The maximum temperature is 730°C.
CAL Sensors has expanded its series of pulsable emitters with the new SPF series for high speed. A degree of modulation of 50% is achieved at approximately 180 Hz. Emitters with a maximum temperature of 1000 K come in a TO-5 housing with an integrated reflector and sapphire window.
The SF-series infrared emitters are designed to be used as low cost pulsed source of blackbody radiation for near-to-far infrared applications. The radiating element is an ultra-thin metallic foil with an emissivity of 0.88 and closely emulates a blackbody source in spectral distribution.
PIREPLUS: Pulsable IR Emitter as a Compact Module
This IR emitter module is sold under the trade name PIREPLUS. The module fits on a 14-pin IC socket. It features a peak temperature of 730°C, and the emitter still has a modulation depth of 50% even at 180 Hz. It emits wavelengths of up to 5 µm. Operation requires supply voltages of +12 volts and +5 volts.
Emitters from Intex
In comparison, the IR emitters from Intex are based on a rather modern technology. They are comprised of micromechanically structured hotplates. A carbon-based, nano-composite (amorphous diamond) is deposited onto a silicon membrane as resistor material with a very low temperature coefficient of the resistor and a high emission grade. One special advantage thereof: Due to the short thermal time constant, even at a modulation frequency of 100 Hz a modulation depth of 50% can be achieved. Due to the constant resistance, a turn-on voltage pulse cannot be observed. The emitter is position and shape stable. At the maximum temperature of 750°C (10 Hz, 50% duty cycle) a lifetime of 10,000 hours is achieved and at 600°C approximately 25,000 hours. Intex‘ core competence is the cabon coating. The developers expect to see further improvements with regard to the maximum temerpature and lifetime of the emitters.
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