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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 17 — Aug. 22, 2005
  • pp: 6497–6503

Imaging with THz quantum cascade lasers using a Schottky diode mixer

Stefano Barbieri, Jesse Alton, Colin Baker, Thomas Lo, Harvey E. Beere, and David Ritchie  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 17, pp. 6497-6503 (2005)

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An imaging system in reflection geometry based on a multimode 2.9 THz quantum cascade laser as radiation source is reported. The beating between neighbouring longitudinal modes is detected using a room temperature point-contact Schottky diode as mixing element. We show that the technique can, in principle, give a dynamic range of 60 dB with a time constant of ~ 10 μs.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.3080) Imaging systems : Infrared imaging
(140.3070) Lasers and laser optics : Infrared and far-infrared lasers
(140.5960) Lasers and laser optics : Semiconductor lasers

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: June 16, 2005
Revised Manuscript: August 8, 2005
Published: August 22, 2005

Stefano Barbieri, Jesse Alton, Colin Baker, Thomas Lo, Harvey Beere, and David Ritchie, "Imaging with THz quantum cascade lasers using a Schottky diode mixer," Opt. Express 13, 6497-6503 (2005)

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  1. C. Baker, W. R. Tribe, B. E. Cole, and M. C. Kemp, �??Developments in people screening using THz technology,�?? Proc. SPIE Int. Soc. Opt. Eng. 5616, 61 (2004)
  2. Y. C. Shen, T. Lo, P. F. Taday, B. E. Cole, W. R. Tribe, and M. C. Kemp, �??Detection and identification of explosives using THz pulsed spectroscopic imaging,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 241116 (2005) [CrossRef]
  3. S. Wang, B. Ferguson, D. Abbot, and X.-C Zhang, �??T-ray imaging and tomography,�?? J. Biol. Phys. 29, 247 (2003) [CrossRef]
  4. See, for example, D. Mittleman, Sensing with THz radiation (Springer, Berlin, 2003)
  5. B. B. Hu, and M. C. Nuss, �??Imaging with THz waves,�?? Opt. Lett. 20, 1716 (1995) [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. V. P. Wallace, R. M. Woodward, A. J. Fitzgerald, E. Pickwell, R. J. Pye, and D. D. Arnone, �??Terahertz pulsed imaging of cancers,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 2190 (2004)
  7. E. Pickwell, B. E. Cole, A. J. Fitzgerald, and V. P. Wallace, �??Simulation of terahertz pulse propagation in biological systems,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 2190 (2004) [CrossRef]
  8. A. J. Fitzgerald, B. E. Cole, and P. F. Taday, �??Nondestructive analysis of tablet coating thicknesses using THz pulsed imaging,�?? J. Pharm. Sciences 94, 177 (2005) [CrossRef]
  9. N. Karpowicz, H. Zhong, C. Zhang, K.-I Lin, J-S. Hwang, J. Xu, and X.-C. Zhang, �??Compact continuous-wave subterahertz system for inspection applications,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 054105 (2005) [CrossRef]
  10. W. R Tribe, D. A. Newnham, P. F. Taday, and M. C. Kemp, �??Hidden object detection: security applications of THz technology,�?? Proc. SPIE Int. Soc. Opt. Eng. 5434, 168 (2004)
  11. A. Maestrini, J. Ward, J. Gill, H. Javadi, E. Schlecht, G. Chattopadhyay, F. Maiwald, N. R. Erickson, and I. Mehdi, �??A 1.7 �?? 1.9 local oscillator source,�?? IEEE Microwave and Wireless Comp. Lett 14, 253 (2004) [CrossRef]
  12. R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, �??Terahertz semiconductor-heterostructure laser,�?? Nature 417, 156 (2002) [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. S. Barbieri, J. Alton, H. E. Beere, J. Fowler, E. H. Linfield, and D. A. Ritchie, �??2.9 THz quantum cascade laser operating up to 70K in continuous wave,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1674 (2004) [CrossRef]
  14. L. Ajili, G. Scalari, J. Faist, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, D. A. Ritchie, and A. G. Davies, �??High power quantum cascade lasers operating at λ= 87 and 130 μm,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 3986 (2004) [CrossRef]
  15. B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, and Q. Hu, �??Operation of THz Quantum cascade lasers at 164K in pulsed mode and at 117K in continuous-wave mode,�?? Opt. Express 13, 3331 (2005) [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. C. Worral, J. Alton, M. Houghton, S. Barbieri, C. Sirtori, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, �??High power superlatticel quantum cascade laser emitting at 2 THz,�?? unpublished (June 2005)
  17. Operation at 1.39THz has been achieved with a QCL subject to a magnetic field of 6T. Jerome Faist, private communication.
  18. J. Darmo, V. Tamosiunas, G. Fasching, J. Kröll, K. Unterrainer, M. Beck, M. Giovannini, J. Faist, C. Kremser, and P. Debbage, �??Imaging with a THz quantum cascade laser,�?? Opt. Expr. 12, 1879 (2004) [CrossRef]
  19. D. R. Chamberlin, P. R. Robrish, W. R. Trutna, G. Scalari, M. Giovannini, L. Ajili, and J. Faist, �??Dual wavelength THz imaging with quantum cascade lasers,�?? Appl. Opt. 44, 121 (2005) [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. A. Barkan, F. K. Tittel, D. M. Mittleman, R. Dengler, P. H. Siegel, G. Scalari, L. Ajili, F. Faist, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, D. A. Ritchie, and A. G. Davies, �??Linewidth and tuning characteristics of THz quantum cascade lasers,�?? Opt. Lett. 29, 575 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. S. Barbieri, J. Alton, H. E. Beere, H. Linfield, D. A. Ritchie, S. Withington, G. Scalari, L. Ajili, and J. Faist, �??Heterodyne mixing of two far-infrared quantum cascade lasers by use of a point-contact Schottky diode,�?? Opt. Lett. 29, 1633 (2004) [CrossRef]
  22. A.L. Betz, R.T. Boreiko, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, �??Frequency and phase-lock control of a 3 THz quantum cascade laser,�?? Opt. Lett. 30, 1837 (2005) [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. A similar behaviour was found in mid-IR QCLs by measuring the beating between neighbouring Fabry-Perot modes with a fast quantum well photodetector. See A. Soibel, F. Capasso, C. Gmachl, M. L. Peabody, A. M. Serget, R. Paiella, D. L. Sivco, A. Y. Cho, and H. C. Liu, �??Stability of pulsed emission and enhancement of intracavity second-harmonic generation in self mode-locked quantum cascade lasers,�?? IEEE J. Quantum. Electron 40, 197 (2004) [CrossRef]
  24. The 35 dBm residual dynamic range results from resolution bandwidth of 100 kHz used in the experiment, yielding a dynamic range of 70 dBm.
  25. G. Narayanan, N. R. Erickson, and A. W. Lichtenberger, �??Development of multi-pixel heterodyne array instruments at submillimeter wavelengths,�?? Proc. Far-IR, Sub-MM, and MM Detector Technology Workshop, 203 (2002)

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Fig. 1. Fig 2. Fig 3.

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