Compact, room temperature, continuous, and widely tunable terahertz laser

February 16, 2022

Terahertz laser

Terahertz radiation lies in the transition region between the microwave and infrared spectra. It has much potential in civil and defence applications, including communications, imaging, and spectroscopy. Yet, the major obstacle to the widespread use of this spectrum has always been the lack of a compact and powerful terahertz source. In 2019, we demonstrated a new type of terahertz source, in which a quantum cascade laser (QCL) pumps roto-vibrational transitions in nitrous oxide molecules, creating a population inversion between rotational energy levels and thus lasing at terahertz frequencies. In this latest work, published in APL Photonics, we prove the universality of this technology, demonstrating improved output power, increased efficiency, and extended tuning range using methyl fluoride molecules as the gain medium. This compact, room temperature, continuous, and widely tunable laser will make terahertz technology more accessible, bringing it closer to our daily lives

See the Harvard SEAS press release here and the publication here.