Ion-Sliced Lithium Tantalate for Terahertz Radiation Detection

Period of Performance: 01/08/2008 - 01/08/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Srico, Inc.
Columbus, OH 43235
Principal Investigator


Terahertz radiation occupies a largely unexploited band from 100 GHz radio frequency to 30 THz infrared. It is capable of penetrating fog and moderate density objects such as wood and fabric at substantially higher resolutions and shorter ranges than radar. THz imaging can be used to screen passers-by for weapons without the safety issues of X-rays. Using spectroscopic techniques, THz radiation can be used for stand-off detection and imaging of suspicious materials or chemicals. These features make THz technology ideal for both the soldier in the field and for continuous surveillance applications such as airport security. This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project addresses the need for THz detectors that are compact and that operate efficiently at room temperature. The proposed technology employs novel materials processes to realize room temperature pyroelectric THz detector devices that are at least one hundred times more sensitive than commercially available devices. The technology is highly amenable to monolithic linear and two dimensional arrays for spectroscopic and imaging applications. Deployment of these newly developed detector devices would result in cost effective implementation of a large number of important industrial, medical and defense applications that could benefit from terahertz radiation technologies.