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Institute for High-Frequency and Communication Technology

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ullrich Pfeiffer


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11.03.14 13:27

University of Wuppertal develops new solid-sate terahertz source

Category: ihct - Allgemein

Terahertz radiation has a wavelength of less than 1 millimeter and larger than 0.1 mm. It is located between radar and infrared radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum and is know for its challeng in generation and detection.

[Translate to English:] Foto der ca. vier Quadratmillimeter großen Terahertz-Quelle aus Wuppertal

[Translate to English:] Die Wuppertaler Terahertz Quelle besteht aus einer 4x4 Anordnung einzelner Sendeeinheiten.

Researchers at the University of Wuppertal have developed a new 1/2-THz radiation source generating up to 1mW of output power. The work was done under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ullrich Pfeiffer at the Department of High-frequency and Communication Technology, University of Wuppertal, Germany, and the Leibniz Institute for Innovative Microelectronics (IHP ), Frankfurt ( Oder), Germany. The work was first presented at the 2014 International Solid-State Circuit Conference ISSCC in San Francisco on February 10th including a live demonstration.

From a medical point of view, terahertz radiation is considered harmless due to its non ionizing character, and hence, has shown some great potential for medical, security, automotive, and communication applications. "Like in conventional cameras, a terahertz source provides the lightling condition for video recording, however, unlike visula light, terahertz radiation is invisibal for the human eye", explains Prof. Pfeiffer. The newly developed terahertz source consists of a 4x4 array of individual radiation sources. By combining 16 sources in one, the total output power can be increased up to 1 milliwatt at 0.53 THz. This level is for the first time high enough for many practical applications. The newly developed terahertz source is another building block for a  terahertz imaging system totaly based on silicon devices using the same manufacturing technology as mobile phones and computer chips. It is a continuation of the University of Wuppertal to develop a terahertz camera, which was also awarded with the " ISSCC Jan Van Vessem Award for Outstanding European Paper " 2013. This award is given at the ISSCC for outstanding publications from the European area around the development of integrated circuits.

Prof. Dr. Ullrich Pfeiffer
Phone +49 202 439 1451