CASA Seminar

Wednesday, April 10, 2002, 3:00 PM
ARC Bldg. Room 231/233
Note Different Date & Time!!!

Terahertz Research at the University of Virginia: An Overview

Thomas W. Crowe
University of Virginia

The terahertz frequency band, spanning from about 100 GHz through 10 THz, is often described as the least explored yet most scientifically rich region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since the early 1970s the University of Virginia Semiconductor Device Laboratory has worked to create a technology base suitable to explore and exploit this spectral range. The initial applications of this research were chemical spectroscopy, radio astronomy and atmospheric studies. More recent applications include compact range radars, plasma and accelerator diagnostics and studies of solid surfaces. Future applications may include collision avoidance radar, ultra wideband communications, detection of chemical and/or biological hazards and medical diagnostics.

This talk will describe two important aspects of our current research. The first is the recent measurement of the THz spectra of biological macromolecules. This study, carried out by Dr. T. Globus under support from D. Woolard of the U.S. Army, has focused on initial measurements of macroscopic samples of DNA from a variety of species. The results have indicated that clear spectral features are present and that the signals can be used to differential between species. However, the measurement of these signals requires extremely careful sample preparation as well as careful measurement techniques. The second aspect of this talk describes the development of an all-solid-state terahertz technology base that is suitable for the wide range of experiments and applications that are now envisioned. Specific recent accomplishments include the development of compact terahertz sources that are electronically tunable over full waveguide bands. This new technology is based on a new GaAs-on-quartz integration technology that has been pioneered at UVa.

Talk Slides:   PDF

(Coffee & Cookies before the seminar starting 2:30 PM)