Ultrafast Terahertz Polarimetry Enabled by Semiconductor Nanowire Sensors

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics


Pulsed terahertz (THz) radiation has proved particularly powerful in applications such as spectroscopy, materials characterisation, security screening, communications, quality control and medical imaging. Considerable information is encoded in the polarisation state of a THz pulse, yet to date most terahertz spectrometers and imaging systems do not record full polarisation information. Thus, the ability to record and harness polarisation information, which can double the information encoded on a THz pulse, offers huge potential benefits to existing applications of THz systems as well as new applications. We recently developed a new technology based on semiconductor nanowires (NWs) that promises to open up an exciting and powerful new field of terahertz polarimetry. This project will capitalise on our discovery by using the NW-technology to create an ultrafast THz polarimeter, that will firmly establish this new field and make it accessible to a range of disciplines. The power of the ultrafast THz polarimeter will be demonstrated in two key areas: (i) the extraction of the electronic properties of nanoscale and novel thin-film semiconductors and (ii) the development and characterisation of terahertz metasurfaces.


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