Research Objectives

Overall and specific objectives of the programme

Our Programme will open up the THz spectrum for widespread scientific and commercial application, and so enhance the UK’s international leadership in THz science and technology.

The overall objective of this Programme is to bring together optical communications technology-based frequency synthesis techniques, ultra-fast photo-detector technology and state-of-the-art THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) technology to create new, compact, low (few Watts) power consumption semiconductor-based coherent device and systems technologies, able to span the entire THz spectrum. These will be used to enable new applications including short-range ultra-broadband communications, high sensitivity sensing and spectroscopy, including atomic state manipulation and high resolution imaging, thus bringing capabilities available at radio or optical frequencies to this traditionally difficult part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Specific objectives include:

To demonstrate broad-area phase-coherent detection of high power (>100 mW) THz QCLs, opening up opportunities, for the first time at THz frequencies, of phase stepping tomography and interferometry, together with depth-resolved chemical contrast three-dimensional imaging and sub-wavelength imaging.

To demonstrate the first coherent ultra broadband THz wireless communication systems offering data rates more than three orders of magnitude greater than Wi-Fi.

To create coherent THz atomic state manipulation and spectroscopy systems with detection sensitivities more than three orders of magnitude better than currently possible, together with the first integrated source and detectors arrays.

To create narrow-linewidth (<1 Hz) integrated coherent continuous wave (CW) sources across the full THz spectral range (0.1 THz - 10 THz)

To combine electronically-controllable gratings with newly designed broadband gain regions to allow demonstration of tuneable, single-mode lasing from a THz QCL over bandwidths exceeding 500 GHz