Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Monolithic terahertz solid-state transceiver: Improved control of 'neglected middle-child' frequency range offers potential benefits

Date:
June 29, 2010
Source:
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
Summary:
Researchers have taken the first steps toward reducing the size and enhancing the functionality of devices in the terahertz frequency spectrum. By combining a detector and laser on the same chip to make a compact receiver, the researchers rendered unnecessary the precision alignment of optical components formerly needed to couple the laser to the detector.

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have taken the first steps toward reducing the size and enhancing the functionality of devices in the terahertz (THz) frequency spectrum.

By combining a detector and laser on the same chip to make a compact receiver, the researchers rendered unnecessary the precision alignment of optical components formerly needed to couple the laser to the detector.

The new solid-state system puts to use the so-called "neglected middle child" frequency range between the microwave and infrared parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Terahertz radiation is of interest because some frequencies can be used to "see through" certain materials. Potentially they could be used in dental or skin cancer imaging to distinguish different tissue types. They also permit improved nondestructive testing of materials during production monitoring. Other frequencies could be used to penetrate clothing, and possibly identify chemical or biological weapons and narcotics.

Since the demonstration of semiconductor THz quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) in 2002, it has been apparent that these devices could offer unprecedented advantages in technologies used for security, communications, radar, chemical spectroscopy, radioastronomy and medical diagnostics.

Until now, however, sensitive coherent transceiver (transmitter/receiver) systems were assembled from a collection of discrete and often very large components. Similar to moving from discrete transistor to integrated chips in the microwave world and moving from optical breadboards to photonic integrated circuits in the visible/infrared world, this work represents the first steps toward reduction in size and enhanced functionality in the THz frequency spectrum.

The work, described in the current issue (June 27, 2010) of "Nature Photonics," represents the first successful monolithic integration of a THz quantum-cascade laser and diode mixer to form a simple, but generically useful, terahertz photonic integrated circuit -- a microelectronic terahertz transceiver.

With investment from Sandia's Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program, the lab focused on the integration of THz QCLs with sensitive, high-speed THz Schottky diode detectors, resulting in a compact, reliable solid-state platform. The transceiver embeds a small Schottky diode into the ridge waveguide cavity of a QCL, so that local-oscillator power is directly supplied to the cathode of the diode from the QCL internal fields, with no optical coupling path.

The Sandia semiconductor THz development team, headed by Michael Wanke, also included Erik Young, Christopher Nordquist, Michael Cich, Charles Fuller, John Reno, Mark Lee -- all of Sandia labs -- and Albert Grine of LMATA Government Services, LLC, in Albuquerque. Young recently joined Philips Lumileds Lighting Co., in San Jose, Calif.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael C. Wanke, Erik W. Young, Christopher D. Nordquist, Michael J. Cich, Albert D. Grine, Charles T. Fuller, John L. Reno, Mark Lee. Monolithically integrated solid-state terahertz transceivers. Nature Photonics, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2010.137

Cite This Page:

DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. "Monolithic terahertz solid-state transceiver: Improved control of 'neglected middle-child' frequency range offers potential benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629162551.htm>.
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. (2010, June 29). Monolithic terahertz solid-state transceiver: Improved control of 'neglected middle-child' frequency range offers potential benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629162551.htm
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. "Monolithic terahertz solid-state transceiver: Improved control of 'neglected middle-child' frequency range offers potential benefits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629162551.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Billions of dollars are being spent on a massive super sewer to take away London's vast output of waste, which is endangering the River Thames. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins