UNI-TRAVELLING CARRIER PHOTOMIXERS FOR THZ DETECTION

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Abstract

Although terahertz (THz) (a thousand billion oscillations in a second) show growing potential for applications such as imaging, sensing and security, the number of technological solutions to measure such signals is limited. Further, detectors such as Golay cells and photo-acoustic cells cannot detect fast modulation of the THz power. This programme proposes to investigate the possibility of detecting electromagnetic waves that oscillate in the THz range using a semiconductor device that is normally used to detect light. This type of device is of interest for THz detection for three main reasons; first, as a semiconductor device it is compact and relatively cost effective, second, it operates at room temperature while most other THz detection technologies must be operated at very low temperatures and third, it has already proven to be efficient as aTHz emitter. The work will concentrate on investigating the fact that in the semiconductor device of interest the velocity of the carriers that are the result of light detection is strongly dependent on the electric field that is applied to the device. Such a difference implies that if the device receives an electric field generated by an antenna (the THz signal to be detected) it will affect the way it detect fast changes in an incoming light signal. Such an effect can result in the creation of an intermediate frequency output at a much lower frequency, that can be analysed using standard electronic measurement equipment. At the end of the programme it is expected that a fabricated device will be able to be used in a THz scanning system operating at room temperature.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The full demonstration of the use of light detectors as a way to measure changes in electromagnetic fields that would occur faster than a hundred of billion time in a second. This particular electromagnetic signals are of interest for measuring changes in large poly-molecules and are seen as one of the key technology to enable future high speed wireless networks
Exploitation Route These finding are enabling the development of photonic based coherent THz systems which could find application in sensing, security, spectroscopy (medical drugs monitoring) and communication.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Security and Diplomacy

 
Description CDT Studentship
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2020
 
Description Collaborative Inpact studentship with National Physical Laboratory
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation University College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2014 
End 10/2018
 
Description ESA Call on Millimeter wave high power source
Amount € 385,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 4000117914/16/NL/GLC 
Organisation European Space Agency 
Department European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)
Sector Public
Country France
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2019
 
Description European commission FP7
Amount £336,800 (GBP)
Funding ID 619870 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2013 
End 10/2016
 
Description Horizon 2020
Amount € 3,704,800 (EUR)
Funding ID 761579 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2020
 
Description programme grant
Amount £6,568,979 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/J017671/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2012 
End 04/2017
 
Description Collaboration with CityU Hong Kong on THz spectroscopic sensors 
Organisation City University of Hong Kong
Country Hong Kong 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developoment of sensing techniques based on uni travelling carrier photodetectros based at UCL
Collaborator Contribution Development of an integrated spectroscopic tool for gas sensing
Impact The partnership is just starting so no outcome yet
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and European Space Agency 
Organisation European Space Agency
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Development and design of high power high speed photodetectors, to be used as millimetre wave optically pumped oscillators
Collaborator Contribution ESA is funding the work while STFC-RAL is developing the packaging and modelling heat management.
Impact So far we have demonstrated a lower bias high performance high speed photodetector.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and European Space Agency 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Development and design of high power high speed photodetectors, to be used as millimetre wave optically pumped oscillators
Collaborator Contribution ESA is funding the work while STFC-RAL is developing the packaging and modelling heat management.
Impact So far we have demonstrated a lower bias high performance high speed photodetector.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Short Course to CityU student in Hong Kong on THz coherent photonic systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Special lecture for all Hong Kong postgraduate students in technology and Physics as part of a workshop on advanced technology at CityU. expected attendance is 80
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016