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July 2-6, 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark
EVANSTON, Ill.— A security detection
device based on a terahertz source has
overcome the size, complexity and cost
typical of terahertz systems. The instrument, which detects explosives, chemical
agents and dangerous biological substances from safe distances, could make
public spaces more secure.
“A single-component solution capable
of room temperature continuous wave
and widely frequency tunable operation is
highly desirable to enable next generation
terahertz systems,” said Northwestern
University professor Manijeh Razeghi.
Razeghi and her team based their
system on nonlinear mixing in quantum
cascade lasers. The system achieved room
temperature CW emission at 3. 41 THz
with a side-mode suppression ratio of
30 dB and output power up to 14 μ W,
with a wall-plug efficiency about one
order of magnitude higher than previous
With their design, they produced
CW single-mode THz emissions with a
wide frequency tuning range of 2.06 to
4. 35 THz and an output power up to
4.2 μ W from two monolithic 3-section
sampled grating distributed feedback-distributed Bragg reflector lasers.
This research builds upon Razeghi
and her group’s many years of research
with Northwestern’s Center for Quantum
Devices, including the development of
the first single mode room temperature
terahertz laser in 2011. The work was
funded by the National Science Founda-
tion, Department of Homeland Security,
Naval Air Systems Command and NASA,
and was published in Nature Scientific
Reports (doi: 10.1038/srep23595).
PS June 2016
TN Briefs 2
DBR SG1 SG2
Security detection device features stable THz source
Schematic design of professor Manijeh Razeghi’s terahertz tuning source.
DBR = distributed Bragg reflector. SG = sample grating.