Deep spitzer observations of infrared-faint radio sources : high-redshift radio-loud active galactic nuclei?
Infrared-faint radio sources (IFRSs) are a rare class of objects which are relatively bright at radio wavelengths but very faint at infrared and optical wavelengths. Here we present sensitive near-infrared observations of a sample of these sources taken as part of the Spitzer Extragalactic Representative Volume Survey. Nearly all the IFRSs are undetected at a level of similar to 1 mu Jy in these new deep observations, and even the detections are consistent with confusion with unrelated galaxies. A stacked image implies that the median flux density is S(3.6 mu m) similar to 0.2 mu Jy or less, giving extreme values of the radio-infrared flux density ratio. Comparison of these objects with known classes of object suggests that the majority are probably high-redshift radio-loud galaxies, possibly suffering from significant dust extinction.