Some interesting THz-based detector research

If you’re a reader of Photonics Online, you might have seen this recent article on a new type of detector that can absorb terahertz (THz) waves. As detailed in the article, researchers at Rice University have collaborated with Sandia National Labs and the Tokyo Institute of Technology in developing thin films of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that work as flexible terahertz sensors. Because terahertz energy can pass through and reveal hidden structures of certain materials, the detector may someday prove to be very useful in medical imaging, airport passenger screening, and food inspection applications.

All really interesting stuff, and if you watch the video from Sandia National Labs in the linked article, you’ll see at the 0:16 mark and at other times in the video a Lake Shore probe station assisting them in their work*.

Probe stations, cryogenic and otherwise, are ideal for making electrical contact to devices that are patterned around nanotube and nanowire devices. The transport properties in these devices are often temperature dependent, so cooling the device can sometimes reveal details about the quality of nanowire growth, including defects.

* Also, at the beginning and the 1:20 mark, two Model 331 temperature controllers can be seen on the bottom of an instrument rack.

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