Terahertz sensing and imaging using a quantum cascade laser

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We demonstrate terahertz (THz) frequency imaging and sensing using a single quantum cascade laser (QCL) device for both generation and sensing of THz radiation. Detection is achieved by utilising the effect of self-mixing in the THz QCL, and specifically by monitoring perturbations to the voltage across the QCL induced by light reflected from an external object back into the laser cavity. Self-mixing offers high sensitivity, a potentially fast response, and a simple, compact optical design. We show that it can be used to obtain high-resolution reflection images of exemplar structures, as well as for the measurement of the displacement of a remote target, both with and without opaque (in the visible spectrum) materials in the beam path. We also demonstrate displacement sensing over a stand-off distance of 7m through air.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Sensors 2011 Conference, SENSORS 2011
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781424492886, 9781424492893
ISBN (Print)9781424492909
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event10th IEEE SENSORS Conference 2011 - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 28 Oct 201131 Oct 2011
Conference number: 10

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Sensors
ISSN (Print)1930-0395
ISSN (Electronic)1930-0395


Conference10th IEEE SENSORS Conference 2011
Abbreviated titleSENSORS 2011


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