Laser combo opens up futuristic terahertz technology

Physics World  November 25, 2019
The terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum has been the least utilized owing to inadequacies of available sources. A team of researchers in the US (Harvard University, MIT, Duke University) has created a compact, widely frequency-tunable, extremely bright source of terahertz radiation: a gas-phase molecular laser based on rotational population inversions optically pumped by a quantum cascade laser. By identifying the essential parameters that determine the suitability of a molecule for a terahertz laser, almost any rotational transition of almost any molecular gas can be made to lase. Nitrous oxide is used to illustrate the broad tunability over 37 lines spanning 0.251 to 0.955 terahertz, each with kilohertz linewidths. The compact source could enable the development of futuristic communications, security, biomedical and astronomical imaging systems…read more. TECNICAL ARTICLE¬†

Artistic view of the QCL pumped terahertz laser showing the QCL beam (red) and the terahertz beam (blue) along with rotating molecules inside the cavity. Courtesy: Arman Amirzhan, Harvard SEAS

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