N. Chopra,J. Deveikis and J. Lloyd-Hughes Appl. Phys. Lett. 122061102 (Feb 2023)
The spatial profile of a beam of pulsed terahertz (THz) radiation is controlled electrically using a multi-pixel photoconductive emitter, which consists of an array of interdigitated electrodes fabricated on semi-insulating GaAs. Activating individual pixels allows the transverse position of the THz beam's focus to be varied off-axis, as verified by spatial beam profiles. Enabling multiple pixels simultaneously permits non-Gaussian beam shapes to be created. The diffraction-limited performance of the system is established by comparison with the Abbé and Sparrow criteria, and a condition for effective beam steering using this design is derived. The spatial resolution of the approach is linked to the frequency of the THz radiation and the f-number of the collection optic.
E. Butler-Caddle, N.E. Grant, S.L. Pain, J.D. Murphy, K.D.G.I. Jayawardena and J. Lloyd-Hughes Appl. Phys. Lett. 122012101 (Jan 2023)
Optical pump terahertz probe spectroscopy (OPTP) is a versatile non-contact technique that measures transient photoconductance decays with femtosecond temporal resolution. However, its maximum temporal range is limited to only a few nanoseconds by the mechanical delay lines used. We extended the temporal range of OPTP to milliseconds and longer while retaining sub-nanosecond resolution. A separate pump laser was electrically synchronized to the probe pulses, allowing the pump–probe delay to be controlled with an electronic delay generator. We demonstrated the capabilities of this technique by examining the photoconductance decays of semiconductors with lifetimes ranging over six orders of magnitude: III-Vs, metal halide perovskites, germanium, and silicon. A direct comparison of results on silicon from OPTP and inductively coupled photoconductance decay highlighted the higher spatial and temporal resolution of OPTP, which allowed in-plane and out-of-plane carrier diffusion to be studied.
T.J. Keat , D. J. L. Coxon, M. Staniforth, M. W. Dale, V. G. Stavros, M. E. Newton, and J. Lloyd-Hughes Phys. Rev. Lett. 129237401 (Nov 2022)
The perturbed free induction decay (PFID) observed in ultrafast infrared spectroscopy was used to unveil the rates at which different vibrational modes of the same atomic-scale defect can interact with their environment. The N3VH0 defect in diamond provided a model system, allowing a comparison of stretch and bend vibrational modes within different crystal lattice environments. The observed bend mode (first overtone) exhibited dephasing times T2=2.8(1) ps, while the fundamental stretch mode had surprisingly faster dynamics T2<1.7 ps driven by its more direct perturbation of the crystal lattice, with increased phonon coupling. Further, at high defect concentrations the stretch mode’s dephasing rate was enhanced. The ability to reliably measure T2 via PFID provides vital insights into how vibrational systems interact with their local environment.
X. Chen, H. Lindley-Hatcher, R. I. Stantchev, J. Wang, K. Li, A. I. Hernandez-Serrano, Z. D. Taylor, E. Castro-Camus and E. Pickwell-MacPherson Chem. Phys. Rev. 3, 011311 (June 2022)
Terahertz (THz) technology has experienced rapid development in the past two decades. Growing numbers of interdisciplinary applications are emerging, including materials science, physics, communications, and security as well as biomedicine. THz biophotonics involves studies applying THz photonic technology in biomedicine, which has attracted attention due to the unique features of THz waves, such as the high sensitivity to water, resonance with biomolecules, favorable spatial resolution, capacity to probe the water–biomolecule interactions, and nonionizing photon energy. Despite the great potential, THz biophotonics is still at an early stage of development. There is a lack of standards for instrumentation, measurement protocols, and data analysis, which makes it difficult to make comparisons among all the work published. In this article, we give a comprehensive review of the key findings that have underpinned research into biomedical applications of THz technology. In particular, we will focus on the advances made in general THz instrumentation and specific THz-based instruments for biomedical applications. We will also discuss the theories describing the interaction between THz light and biomedical samples. We aim to provide an overview of both basic biomedical research as well as pre-clinical and clinical applications under investigation. The paper aims to provide a clear picture of the achievements, challenges, and future perspectives of THz biophotonics.