The World’s Most Powerful Terahertz Quantum Cascade Laser

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Christoph Deutsch, Martin Brandstetter and Michael Krall in the cleanroom at TU Vienna.

Whether used in diagnostic imaging, analysis of unknown substances or ultrafast communication – terahertz radiation sources are becoming more and more important. A recent Vienna University of Technology breakthrough has been made in this important area [Citations below]. Terahertz waves are invisible, but incredibly useful; they can penetrate many materials which are opaque to visible light and they are perfect for detecting a variety of molecules. Read More →

Seeing Inside the Nose of an Aircraft

This terahertz measurement system for non-destructive testing measures the thickness of multi-layered plastic films at a rate of 40 times per second. © Fraunhofer IPM

The planned arrival time, the request to land or the landing direction – this is the kind of information pilots discuss via radio with ground staff in the control tower. The nose of the aircraft, the „radar dome“, receives incoming radio signals and transmits radio signals sent by the pilot as well. It is made of a fiberglass composite. But if even tiniest imperfections arise during production – if, for instance, little foreign particles, drops of water or air bubbles become enclosed in the resin – over time they can cause fine cracks through which moisture can seep. This causes interference in radio traffic through the aircraft nose, introducing static into the signal. Read More →