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Terahertz Spectrometer System

Photonics.com
Jan 2011
TOPTICA Photonics AGRequest Info
 
MUNICH, Germany, Jan. 25, 2011 — Toptica Photonics AG has introduced a next-generation terahertz spectrometer system that is fast, compact and cost-effective. The continuous-wave system includes 1.5-µm lasers.

The frequency-domain spectrometer combines the company’s new TeraBeam, a highly integrated two-color diode laser, with newly developed InGaAs/InP emitter and detector technology from Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institute (HHI) in Berlin.

The system features a fast scan option that reduces acquisition times by more than two orders of magnitude and acquires a complete terahertz spectrum from 50 to 1200 GHz, with sub-Gigahertz resolution in <1 min.

Traditionally, research in the field of frequency-domain continuous-wave terahertz has largely been carried out with GaAs photomixers, requiring laser wavelengths below 870 nm. Although good results in terms of bandwidth and signal quality have been obtained, the complexity of the optical source and a variety of nonstandard optical components resulted in a cost too high for widespread industrial use.

Teaming up with HHI, the company has presented an alternative solution: lasers and antenna packages for CW terahertz at the telecom wavelength of 1.5µm. The TeraBeam represents a compact two-color laser with a footprint of 161 × 130 × 61 mm. Making use of highly integrated distributed feedback laser diodes and fiber components, the laser provides 30 mW per two-color output and is suited to the power requirements of the CW terahertz emitters and detectors.

The emitter uses a high-bandwidth photodiode with an integrated waveguide structure and provides output levels in the microwatt range. The receiver employs an InGaAs photoconductor and achieves signal-to-noise ratio values up to 80 dB. The modules are fully packaged with SM/PM fiber pigtails.

The frequency resolution can be selected via an intuitive graphical user interface, and frequency steps as small as 10 MHz are possible.


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GLOSSARY
detector
1. A device designed to convert the energy of incident radiation into another form for the determination of the presence of the radiation. The device may function by electrical, photographic or visual means. 2. A device that provides an electric output that is a useful measure of the radiation that is incident on the device.
emitter
A source of radiation.
photoconductor
A light-sensitive resistor in which resistance decreases with increase in light intensity when illuminated. The device consists of a thin single-crystal or polycrystalline film of compound semiconductor substances.
spectrometer
A kind of spectrograph in which some form of detector, other than a photographic film, is used to measure the distribution of radiation in a particular wavelength region.  
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