Terahertz electronics and photonics



Terahertz (THz) frequencies (300GHz–10THz) span the gap in the electromagnetic spectrum between the millimetre/microwave electronic technologies used at lower frequencies, and the mid-infrared optic/opto-electronic techniques employed at higher frequencies.

Our researchers are playing a pivotal role in developing THz science and technology, which is becoming a vibrant international research area. For example, we are:

  • Growing (by molecular beam epitaxy), fabricating and optimizing THz quantum cascade lasers (QCLs).  These compact solid state, semiconductor sources contain over 1000 individual semiconductor layers, each patterned to atomic layer resolution.
  • Designing apparatus for mode-locking THz QCLs, probing laser dynamics, and obtaining precise control of the emission frequency.  This underpins future applications in non-linear THz science, and satellite instrumentation for Earth observation and planetary exploration.  
  • Designing state-of-the-art THz imaging and spectroscopy systems.  This includes pioneering work on self-mixing, where a laser acts as both source and detector, providing compact instrumentation and phase-sensitive detection.
  • Integrating THz radiation with on-chip waveguides and filters, to probe low-dimensional semiconductor nanostructures on picosecond timescales, and underpin future generations of high-frequency electronic devices and circuits.
  • Investigating imaging and spectroscopy applications, ranging from the study of semiconductor, magnetic, and plasmonic materials, through to pharmaceuticals, drugs-of-abuse, explosives, and biological systems, such as proteins.

Research team

If you are interested in collaborating with us or joining our research team, please get in touch. 

Professor John Cunningham
Professor Giles Davies
Professor Edmund Linfield
Dr Paul Dean
Dr Heribert Eisele
Dr Joshua Freeman
Dr Lianhe Li
Dr Alexander Valavanis
Dr Chris Wood