Graphene Plasmons Used to Create Tunable Terahertz Laser

Jan 15, 2016

The fascinating electrical properties of graphene have allowed University of Manchester researchers to open up a new area of technology using terahertz lasers.
This could vastly improve scanning systems, replacing X-rays, and also dramatically increase internet bandwidth.

Terahertz technology exists on the electromagnetic spectrum between microwave and infrared frequencies. The benefit of using terahertz lasers instead of X-rays is that they can accurately scan materials without causing damage.
Highly-sensitive scanners for sensing minute defects in manufactured drugs, or detecting concealed weapons at airports could become more accurate and much safer for frequent use using the new technology.

Terahertz lasers are similar to X-rays in that they are invisible to the naked eye but are far safer in comparison by being non-destructive and non-invasive.

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2 comments on “Graphene Plasmons Used to Create Tunable Terahertz Laser

  • They’re “safer” than x-rays because they are not ionizing radiation. But how would these rays scan anything but the external surface of an object? X-rays can pass through many objects to visualize internal structures. AFAIK microwaves and IR can’t do this.


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  • I wondered that too, but millimetre-wave scanners are already in use (with less than a millimetre penetration into the body) for detecting concealed objects under clothing. This technology would seem a higher-resolution version of that use, rather than looking at broken bones and internal organs.

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