Monday, October 26, 2015

High-performing nonlinear visualization of terahertz radiation on a silicon charge-coupled device

Photoinduced electron transitions can lead to significant changes of the macroscopic electronic properties in semiconductors. This principle is responsible for the detection of light with charge-coupled devices. Their spectral sensitivity is limited by the semiconductor bandgap which has restricted their visualization capabilities to the optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray regimes. The absence of an imaging device in the low frequency terahertz range has severely hampered the advance of terahertz imaging applications in the past. Here we introduce a high-performing imaging concept to the terahertz range. On the basis of a silicon charge-coupled device we visualize 5–13THz radiation with photon energy under 2% of the sensor’s band-gap energy. The unprecedented small pitch and large number of pixels allow the visualization of complex terahertz radiation patterns in real time and with high spatial detail. This advance will have a great impact on a wide range of terahertz imaging disciplines.

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