The first portable high power terahertz laser is introduced

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Waterloo have developed

a powerful portable version of the quantum cascadelaser. The device can generate terahertz radiation outside laboratory conditions. It can be used to pinpoint skin cancer and detect hidden explosives.

Before that, to generate terahertz radiationfor real-time imaging and fast spectral measurements, temperatures below -73 ° C were required. This temperature can be reproduced on bulky equipment that is only found in laboratories. In an article published in the journal Nature Photonics, the scientists reported that their terahertz quantum cascade laser can operate at temperatures as low as -20 ° C.

Terahertz quantum cascade lasers,tiny semiconductor laser devices with an embedded chip were developed back in 2002, but their adaptation to work proved to be very difficult. Therefore, many researchers could not use them.

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“Thanks to the high operating temperature, we are finallywe can take this revolutionary technology out of the lab, ”said Qing Hu, professor of electrical and computer science at MIT. "Now we will be able to use portable terahertz images and spectral systems in medicine, biochemistry, security and other areas."

One of the important innovations in this work -doubling the height of the barriers inside the laser to prevent electron leakage is a phenomenon that occurs at high temperatures. The authors note that they consider the obtained result as the next step towards achieving the ultimate goal - the creation of a high-power terahertz laser operating at room temperature.

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