Posted in | News | Nanosensors

Combining Design Concepts Produces High-Sensitivity Detector Enabling Greater Exploitation of Terahertz Radiation

Terahertz radiation (THz) has unique characteristics with the potential to provide the basis of new imaging techniques for detecting and diagnosing cancer and other medical conditions. Moreover, because the energy of the photons that carry THz radiation is around 100,000 times less than that of x-rays, it is expected to be much safer.

Unfortunately, the efficiency of devices built to detect THz radiation has been poor. This is because the frequency of THz radiation is too high to be handled by microwave electronic circuits, and its energy is too low for conventional optoelectronic devices. By combining several advanced device concepts, Yukio Kawano and colleagues of the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, have succeeded in building a highly sensitive THz detector that is capable of sensing just a handful of THz photons at a time.

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