Graphene Gives A Tremendous Boost To Future Terahertz Cameras

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In a recent study, researchers developed a novel graphene-enabled photodetector that operates at room temperature, is highly sensitive, fast, has a wide dynamic range, and covers a broad range of THz frequencies. The researchers have achieved a solid understanding of how the PTE effect gives rise to a THz-induced photoresponse, which is valuable for further detector optimization.

Detecting terahertz (THz) is extremely useful for two main reasons: First, THz technology is becoming a key element in applications regarding security (such as airport scanners), wireless data communication and quality control, to mention just a few. However, current THz detectors have limitations, including simultaneously meeting the requirements for sensitivity, speed, spectral range, and operating at room temperature. Second, terahertz light is a very safe type of radiation due to its low-energy photons, with more than 100 times lower energy than that of photons in the visible light range.

Graphene-based materials are useful for detecting light. Graphene does not have a bandgap, as compared to standard materials used for photodetection, such as silicon. The bandgap in silicon prevents absorption, and thus detection, of with wavelengths longer than one micron. In contrast, for graphene, even light with a wavelength of hundreds of microns can be absorbed and detected. Hz detectors based on graphene have shown promising results, but none are yet as effective as commercially available detectors in terms of speed and sensitivity.

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ABOUT THE NATIONAL GRAPHENE ASSOCIATION
The National Graphene Association (NGA) is the primary organization and body in the United States advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene and addressing critical issues such as standards and policy development. Dubbed the “wonder material of 21st century,” graphene is the thinnest and strongest material ever discovered. Graphene is one atomic layer of carbon — transparent, flexible, and an excellent thermal and electrical conductor. NGA convenes current and future graphene stakeholders from graphene companies, research bodies, suppliers, developers, investors, venture capitalist and government agencies to drive innovation and expedite the commercialization of graphene technologies globally. Founded in 2016 by Dr. Ed Meek, the National Graphene Association is headquartered in Oxford, Mississippi, USA.

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