|THz occupies the frequency gap between microwaves and infrared light waves. THz produces a frequency that is both coherent and spectrally broad, so such images can contain far more information than a conventional image formed with a single-frequency source. Although THz frequency can penetrate fabrics and plastics, it is non-ionizing and therefore harmless to living tissue or DNA, making it very valuable for imaging and screening applications. Scientists have attempted to find practical ways to use a QCL as a tunable source for THz frequencies for a variety of applications, but until now, have been unable to overcome obstacles in cost and fabrication.|
Glenn's innovation is a THz QCL source (range 1 to 5 THz) based on a passive waveguide tuning mechanism that can use the full bandwidth of a broadband THz QCL and produce a vast number of frequency channels. In Glenns process, a tunable QCL is coupled to a grating router, which consists of an appropriately configured linear dielectric array. The grating router receives a THz frequency from the QCL and generates a high density of THz frequencies. The output of the grating router enters an on/off switching waveguide controller, which is configured to select one desired THz frequency. This desired frequency is then fed into a waveguide multiplexer, which combines the output ports of the controller into a single signal for transmission. Glenn's novel technology unlocks the potential for THz frequencies to revolutionize sensing and imaging applications across a wide range of industries.
This is an early-stage technology requiring additional development, and Glenn welcomes co-development opportunities.