Academia: Radiation in the THz range

With my college career coming to an end, I decided to start a series of posts entitled “Academia”. In each post, I will discuss a project or research I have been involved in.

In this first post of the series, I will briefly discuss my research in terahertz generation. In the spring of 2007, I had the distinct honor of working under Professor Leon McCaughan, a professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Under his supervision, I studied the properties of:

  • Guided wave photonic devices and circuits
  • Quantum optics
  • Far infrared (terahertz) generation and spectrocopy
  • Waveguide and photonic crystal theory

More importantly, I had the opportunity to take part in one of his research projects and work along side of other extremely talented students and researchers . A description of the project:

“Terahertz (THz) radiation is of great current interest for imaging science and technology. Applications include time-domain spectroscopy (e.g., the dielectric response of molecules in the far infrared), medical imaging in a new radiation band, detection and imaging for homeland security and defense applications, as well as communications.”

Within the project, I spent many hours in the Wisconsin Center for Applied Microelectronic Devices developing photolithography and reactive ion etching techniques to produce a THz photonic crystal in Silicon. By creating this photonic cystal, we were attempting to create a control in order to provide tunablity to the light source. Prior to the fabrication of the 2D crystal, we also undertook some computer-based model calculations.

Pictures from the research here:

Picture of 2D photonic crystals.

2-D photonic crystal integrated ‘superstate’

Myself and two of my colleagues in the lithography bay.

Description of the project (can be found on www.nsf.gov)

Thank you to Professor Leon McCaughan for a truley invaluable experience!

  • Joe Ward

    Hello, – I am new to Dan Reich's blogsite. Noticed His' interest in Photonics. This may not be related to this 'Academia Category',- but here it is: – In the past, I tried to figure out,- how much the light (sunlight) weighed, that hit the earth each day. – Can anyone tell me if I was close in my calculations? – I guesstimate approx.- 89-94lbs of sunlight striking the planet Earth each day. – Any reply and/or direction appreciated. – Joe Ward ; p.s. – ( my valid email address IS: jward52@columbus.rr.com , so why is it not accepted as valid? )

  • Joe Ward

    Hello, – I am new to Dan Reich's blogsite. Noticed His' interest in Photonics. This may not be related to this 'Academia Category',- but here it is: – In the past, I tried to figure out,- how much the light (sunlight) weighed, that hit the earth each day. – Can anyone tell me if I was close in my calculations? – I guesstimate approx.- 89-94lbs of sunlight striking the planet Earth each day. – Any reply and/or direction appreciated. – Joe Ward ; p.s. – ( my valid email address IS: jward52@columbus.rr.com , so why is it not accepted as valid? )