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Proceedings Paper

Solid state detector arrays for terahertz applications
Author(s): Chris Mann
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Paper Abstract

From a commercial point of view the terahertz region from 100GHz to 10THz remains largely unexplored. The main reason for this has been the lack of readily available, rugged solid state detection technology that has sufficient sensitivity for applications such as passive imaging. This is particularly true when arrays of such detectors are considered. Until recently the main technology driver has been ground based Radio Astronomy. Here the drive for absolute noise performance has focused effort towards the development of cryogenically cooled detection techniques, primarily utilising liquid Helium cooled superconducting devices. Commercially, the use of such cryogens will usually rule out most potential high volume applications largely for practical reasons such as running cost, convenience and health and safety issues. In order to kick-start the commercial exploitation of the terahertz region an alternative detection technology is required. The detector technology reported here has its origins in remote sensing applications where the low noise performance requirements are not quite so stringent. Here, reliability, low power operation, low mass and volume are combined with rugged design. These so happen to be the main prerequisites for any commercial solution. For space borne technology, however, cost is not usually an issue and correspondingly until the application of manufacturing methodology the technology has been prohibitively expensive to adopt. This paper reports on the current state of the art in solid state detector array technology aimed at exploiting commercial applications in the terahertz region. An overview of the technology background is provided combined with a forward look outlining the areas where rapid technology advancement can be expected. The utilisation of this detector technology in the application of real time passive terahertz imaging will be shown.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2006
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6212, Terahertz for Military and Security Applications IV, 62120W (19 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669818
Show Author Affiliations
Chris Mann, ThruVision Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6212:
Terahertz for Military and Security Applications IV
Dwight L. Woolard; R. Jennifer Hwu; Mark J. Rosker; James O. Jensen, Editor(s)

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