Terahertz (THz) waves come between microwave and infrared radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum, oscillating at frequencies of between 100 billion and 30 trillion cycles per second. These waves are prized for their distinctive properties: they will penetrate paper, clothes, wood and walls, besides, to detect air pollution. THz sources could revolutionize safety and medical imaging systems. What’s more, their ability to hold vast quantities of data might maintain the key to faster wi-fi communications.
THz waves are a kind of non-ionizing radiation, which means they pose no risk to human well-being. The expertise is already utilized in some airports to scan passengers and detect dangerous objects and substances.
Regardless of holding great commitment, THz waves are not extensively used because they’re costly and cumbersome to generate. However, a new technology created by researchers at EPFL could change all that. The team on the Power and Wide-band-hole Electronics Research Laboratory (POWERlab), led by Prof. Elison Matioli, constructed a nanodevice that can generate extremely high-energy indicators in just a few picoseconds, or one trillionth of a second, which produces high-energy THz waves.
The technology, which could be fixed on a chip or a flexible medium, could someday be installed in smartphones and other hand-held gadgets. The work first-authored by Mohammad Samizadeh Nikoo, a Ph.D. pupil at the POWERlab, has been featured in the journal Nature.