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Researchers make breakthrough in terahertz technology

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 9:54am

Culminating a ten-year development effort, Teraphysics Corp. scientists have demonstrated the emission of terahertz light by passing electron beams through a gold coil, smaller in diameter than a human hair, supported by a diamond structure. The detection of a terahertz signal provided proof of concept for Teraphysics’ suite of microfabricated vacuum electronic devices.

The terahertz frequency is the last unexploited region of the electromagnetic spectrum, and is often referred to as the “terahertz gap.” Scientists and researchers have recognized the technical attributes and economic potential of Terahertz for more than 50 years. However, the absence of economical, high energy light sources has been the major hurdle preventing broad commercial applications.

Teraphysics’ unique achievement introduces new materials coupled with modern micromachining (MEMs) techniques to miniaturize a vacuum electron device. As a result, the Teraphysics’ devices have evolved to a package that weighs only one pound with dimensions that are smaller than a credit card. Conventional vacuum devices are at least ten times larger and heavier. The ability to economically harness terahertz energy with a compact device positions Teraphysics as the first mover in the commercialization of the exciting “final frequency frontier.”

A Cleveland-based technology development organization, Teraphysics and its strategic partner TeraView, Ltd., based in the United Kingdom, stand at the disruptive edge of commercializing terahertz.

Unique terahertz capabilities include:

  • Non-ionizing radiation unlike x-ray, therefore safe for use on and around humans;

  • Early disease detection including cancer and Alzheimer’s;

  • 3-D imaging through clothing and most packaging materials to detect concealed explosives and contraband;

  • Quality assurance in mobile electronics, food safety, pharmaceutical and other manufacturing sectors;

  • Quality control of specialty coatings applications, such as automotive paints, pharmaceuticals and confections, solar panels and early corrosion detection;

  • Unambiguous identification of substances through molecular fingerprinting;

  • Non-invasive cosmetic wrinkle smoothing techniques; and

  • Enormous bandwidth and secure wireless communications (at least ten times faster than fiber).

Terahertz applications will be transformational across many sectors – that which scientists previously understood as inconceivable, is now possible, and practical in the very near future.  The history of technology consistently provides us with examples of today’s conveniences not even conceived of as recently as a few decades ago. The cycle will repeat itself many times with terahertz.

Source: Teraphysics Corp.

 
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