Apply online to license this technology
Scientists at the Army Research Laboratory have recently invented a device for generating THz radiation which may have application in airport security scanners and other detection systems. The patented technology is available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
THz-rays, which are shorter than microwaves and longer than infrared, have potential usage in biomedical and security applications in that THz-rays are safe, and non-ionizing, and can pass through (and enable viewing through) such materials as clothing, paper, cardboard, wood, masonry, plastic, ceramics, as well as penetrate fog and clouds. THz radiation is safe for biological tissues (unlike X-rays), and images can be formed with terahertz radiation having resolution of less than 1 mm. THz radiation has potential spectroscopic uses in that while many materials are transparent to THz, many materials exhibit unique spectral identifiers when exposed to terahertz radiation, including explosives, pharmaceuticals, and illegal narcotic substances.
ARL researchers have now developed a generator of broadband THz radiation from contactless semiconductor structures using optical excitation, such as a 100 femtosecond pulse source. The device enables the generation of broadband THz pulses with higher pulse energy than a conventional photoconductive switch approaches because it can support higher electric fields. Tests were performed using a coherent regenerative amplifier at 800 nm. The typical pulse width is approximately 150 fs with a pump power of approximately 3 mW.
- Produces intense THz rays
- Does not require metal contacts and thus fabrication costs are reduced
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent 8,203,127 from the Army
- TechLink guides businesses through evaluation and licensing; services provided at no cost