Researchers at Leeds mine the ‘Terahertz gap’
The Leeds team has secured a new grant of £2 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to shed light on the changes in behaviour and properties of nano-scale systems within the least explored area of the electromagnetic spectrum, the terahertz region.
The combined expertise at Leeds will fuse two fundamental areas of science – nanoscience, which focuses on decreasing size, and high frequency science, which focuses on high speed electronics.
Project leader Dr John Cunningham of the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering explains: “The dimensions of electronic devices have reduced so much that they can be literally a few atoms in size – but at this scale, they exhibit different properties than their larger scale counterparts. These properties can be directly revealed or even changed using radiation from the terahertz region of the spectrum. If we want to continue to provide ever-smaller electronic systems that work at ever-faster speeds, we must find new ways of enabling this development by understanding exactly how they work. It’s an exciting project for us because we’re bringing together two areas of fundamental science that have rarely been studied together.”
Technologies using the radiation from many regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are well developed: the use of radio waves, x-rays and microwaves are now second nature in modern life. But the terahertz region, often called the ‘Terahertz gap’ because of the lack of commercially available sources and detectors for this region, is considered to be the ‘final frontier’ in understanding the electromagnetic spectrum. The Leeds team believes that its unique properties could offer the gateway to the next generation of new nano-electronics.
Terahertz radiation is found in the electromagnetic spectrum between the microwave region (where satellite dishes and mobile phones work) and infra-red light, but ways to generate detect and analyse terahertz radiation are not as advanced as other imaging techniques.
The four-year project will develop new methods to examine and assess nanoscale electronic systems using terahertz radiation, Future applications may include the development of new nano-scale high-frequency electronic devices in areas such as sensing, imaging and spectroscopy, and ultimately in communications.
All news from this category: Physics and Astronomy
This area deals with the fundamental laws and building blocks of nature and how they interact, the properties and the behavior of matter, and research into space and time and their structures.
innovations-report provides in-depth reports and articles on subjects such as astrophysics, laser technologies, nuclear, quantum, particle and solid-state physics, nanotechnologies, planetary research and findings (Mars, Venus) and developments related to the Hubble Telescope.
Sustainable insulating material for shipping temperature-sensitive products
Researchers at the Institute of Natural Products Engineering at TU Dresden have developed an insulating material made from recycled paper for shipping temperature-sensitive foods and medicines. As part of a…
Helium nuclei at the surface of heavy nuclei discovered
Research team confirms a new nuclear property predicted by theory Scientists are able to selectively knockout nucleons and preformed nuclear clusters from atomic nuclei using high-energy proton beams. In an…