LWIR / FIR / THz Detectors and Sources For High Sensitivity Remote Sensing

The discoveries of novel materials and physical phenomena continuously drive technological advancements and their applications. So is the case for Terahertz (THz) optoelectronics, operating roughly in the frequency range of f≈0.5-35THz. In this spectral range radiation penetrates through opaque materials without the risk of ionization, making THz radiation highly attractive for technological applications, such as contactless and non-destructive sensing in food manufacturing, chemical/biological hazard detection, medicine, security, rapid wireless communication.

Despite the acknowledged importance, applications involving THz are currently hindered by the relatively limited materials’ response in this spectral range, which translates to sparsity of high-performance and low-cost optoelectronic devices. Despite the efforts invested in recent years to improve THz technologies, high-performance optoelectronics devices are still relatively cumbersome and costly, as they rely mainly upon Helium-based cryogenic cooling and/or strong femto-second lasers for their operation. 

Based on novel optical excitation, which have recently been discovered in Bilayer graphene systems, we can develop a new platform for compact, low-cost, electrically tunable, and high-performance THz optoelectronic detectors and sources. On the detection side, we can realize SNR and sensitivities that are between 2-4 orders-of-magnitude larger than the state-of-the-art, and at liquid Nitrogen temperatures (77K), achieving unprecedented sensitivity and eliminating the need for He-based cooling. On the sources side, we can develop a new class of much simpler and compact sources, in the form of high-brightness, broadband, and electrically tunable THz light-emitting-diodes (LEDs), with power emission in the range of laser-based sources.

The most hindering aspect of the wide use of THz sensing in the industry is the low limit-of-detection (LOD) parameter – there is just not enough sensitivity in current THz systems for any practical usage. However, with the increased performance of our detectors and sources, these could open the following industries for regular use of THz sensing

Provisional patent application – METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR HANDLING RADIATION IN LONG-WAVELENGTH AND FAR INFRARED RANGE, No. 63/401,666, Priority Date 28 Aug 2022

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