Demonstration of a self-mixing displacement sensor based on terahertz quantum cascade lasers

Yah Leng Lim, Paul Dean, Milan Nikoli, Russell Kliese, Suraj P. Khanna, Mohammad Lachab, Alex Valavanis, Dragan Indjin, Zoran Ikoni, Paul Harrison, Edmund H. Linfield, A. Giles Davies, Stephen J. Wilson, Aleksandar D. Raki

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Abstract

There has been growing interest in the use of terahertz (THz) quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) for sensing applications. However, the lack of compact and sensitive THz detectors has limited the potential for commercial exploitation of sensors based on these devices. We have developed a self-mixing sensing technique in which THz QCLs are used for both generation and interferometric sensing of THz radiation, eliminating the need for a separate detector. Using this technique, we have measured the displacement of a remote target, both with and without opaque (in the visible spectrum) materials in the beam path and demonstrated a stand-off distance of up to 7 m in air.

Original languageEnglish
Article number081108
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume99
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

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