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Far-infrared Lasers Assembled using Silicon Heterostructures

Far-infrared Lasers Assembled using Silicon Heterostructures

Objective

The THz part of the electromagnetic spectrum (0.3-10 THz) is currently exploited in commercial security screening systems (weapon detection beneath clothes), medical diagnostics tools (skin and breast cancer, burns, and in ophthalmology) and production-line monitoring (non-destructive test in the pharmaceutical industry). Existing sources of THz radiation are still too large and expensive to be a massively deployed in all of the existing and proposed applications, which include large bandwidth wireless communications and the extension of security screening to far-infrared spectroscopic identification of chemicals and explosives up to 10 THz. A lower production cost, a higher level of integration with control electronics, and a broader range of emitted wavelength are all desirable to expand the application of THz radiation.
FLASH, will develop a room-temperature THz laser integrated on Si using CMOS technology-compatible processes and materials. The laser, of quantum cascade type, will be assembled using newly developed conduction-band germanium-rich heterostructures. It will leverage on the non-polar nature of silicon and germanium crystal lattices to potentially enabling room temperature operation, and will emit over 1 mW of power in the 1-10 THz range. In perspective, the development of the SiGe heterostructure platform will pave the way towards the new field of nonlinear silicon photonics based on band-structure engineering. The consortium includes EU leaders in silicon chip manufacturing, Si/SiGe/Ge epitaxial material growth, laser and band structure modelling, quantum cascade laser design and terahertz/infrared spectroscopy.
The proposed device can provide a step-change in compactness, reduced cost, and functionality of source performance, thus enabling large scale use of terahertz radiation in existing fields of application, and open up new fields of application not yet commercially exploited, such as wireless communication and security imaging.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI ROMA TRE

Address

Via Ostiense 159
00154 Roma

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 837 587,50

Participants (4)

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UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 749 580

IHP GMBH - INNOVATIONS FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE MICROELECTRONICS/LEIBNIZ-INSTITUT FUER INNOVATIVE MIKROELEKTRONIK

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 640 250

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 671 581,25

NEXTNANO GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 307 500

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 766719

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 November 2017

  • End date

    31 October 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.2.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 206 498,75

  • EU contribution

    € 3 206 498,75

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI ROMA TRE

Italy