Project title: Compact integrated terahertz sources
Science and technologies based on terahertz (THz) frequency electromagnetic radiation (100 GHz-30 THz) have developed rapidly over the last 30 years, to the extent that these now touch many areas from fundamental science to ‘real world’ applications. THz spectroscopy and imaging are currently active and rapidly expanding fields of research with applications in biological and medical fields, for example cancer tumor imaging and defence and security fields like the airport security scanners to detect explosives and illegal drugs.
However, many applications require hand-held or mobile THz devices but these are not commercially available yet. The most important challenge for THz technology is the development of compact and efficient THz sources providing continuous wave output power.
The aim of this project is to develop compact THz emitters. THz radiation can be generated by mixing photonic signals, but these optical components are bulky. Using photonic integration, we can put all these components on a single chip. This provides an efficient and reliable solution for THz sources in terms of cost and size. Therefore, we will develop a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) for THz signal generation in the optical domain. Our PIC will then be coupled to another chip containing THz antennas, developed by our partners, to convert the optical signal to a narrow beam of THz radiation. Our goal is to realise THz frequency tuning and beam steering all in one chip.
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Martijn Heck