Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and collaborators have demonstrated a compact frequency-comb apparatus that rapidly measures the entire infrared band of light to detect biological, chemical and physical properties of matter. Infrared light travels in waves longer than visible light and is most familiar as the radiation associated with heat.

The NIST setup, which occupies just a few square feet of table space, has potential applications such as disease diagnosis, identification of chemicals used in manufacturing, and biomass energy harvesting. The work is described in the June 7 issue of Science Advances.

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