Record-Setting Terahertz Transmitters

Relatively cheap chip hits 1.1 THz, could make terahertz scanners and other devices practical

4 min read
Record-Setting Terahertz Transmitters


Image: Michael Feiginov/TU Darmstadt
Tiny Transmitter: TU Darmstadt's resonant tunneling diode transmitter beams out radiation at 1.11 terahertz. The Diode is the squiggle at the base of the "V". Click on image to enlarge.

25 January 2012—Researchers in Germany and Japan have developed tiny transmitter chips that produce the highest-frequency signals at room temperature—1.111 terahertz—of any source driven by a resonant-tunneling diode (RTD), a type of electronic quantum device. The relatively cheap transmitter chip might make it easier to use terahertz devices. Researchers have been working toward developing technologies that could potentially help to foil bomb plots. These terahertz devices would be able to see through a person’s clothing and chemically identify concealed objects from a distance.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

1 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

Keep Reading ↓Show less