March 8, 2013
INRS Overcomes A Hurdle In The Development Of Terahertz Lasers
First isolator for broadband terahertz
Dr. Roberto Morandotti and his team at the INRS Ãnergie MatÃ©riaux TÃ©lÃ©communications Research Centre have developed a device that is critical to the use of terahertz (THz) sources for a variety of applications. Their electromagnetic non-reciprocal isolator is the subject of a recent article in Nature Communications, showing just how important this new development is. Until now, no isolator existed that was effective in the THz region of the spectrum, a situation that held back the development of certain technologies. The new device paves the way for applications using terahertz frequencies including the development of terahertz lasers and amplifiers, to which the scientific community is currently devoting much attention.
An isolator is needed to prevent reflected waves from distorting measurements or damaging other components. Thus the absence of a workable isolator represented a major limitation to the use of THz wave sources. Dr. Morandotti's work at INRS provides the first solution to this problem, using a strontium iron oxide (SrFe12O19) magnet, which has the additional benefit of requiring no external magnetic field.
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