Terahertz Electronics for Sensing Applications Abstract

Terahertz sensing is enabling technology for detection of biological and chemical hazardous agents, cancer detection, detection of mines and explosives, providing security in buildings, airports, and other public space, short-range covert communications (in THz and sub-THz windows), and applications in radioastronomy and space research. I will review the-state-of-the-art of existing THz sources, detectors, and sensing systems and prospects for novel emerging devices enabling terahertz electronics for sensing applications. Two-terminal semiconductor devices are capable of operating at the low bound of the THz range, with the frequencies up to a few terahertz achieved using Schottky diode frequency multipliers. High-speed three terminal electronic devices (FETs and HBTs) are approaching the THz range (with cutoff frequencies and maximum frequencies of operation above 1 THz and close to 0.5 GHz for InGaAs and Si technologies, respectively).  A new approach called plasma wave electronics recently demonstrated terahertz emission and detection in GaAs-based and GaN-based HEMTs and in Si MOS and SOI, including the resonant THz detection. Graphene and 2D materials “beyond graphene” have also emerged as candidates for plasmonic THz detectors, modulators, and emitters. Emerging THz electronic devices have potential to revolutionize THz sensing technology.