Revolutionary New Detector Made From Graphene for Next Generation of THz Astronomy [Video] - Wed 11 Sep 07:26 GMT

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated a detector made from graphene that could revolutionize the sensors used in next-generation space telescopes. The findings were recently published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy. …

  Beyond superconductors, there are few materials that can fulfill the requirements needed for making ultra-sensitive and fast terahertz (THz) detectors for astronomy.

  Chalmers researchers have shown that engineered graphene adds a new material paradigm for THz heterodyne detection.

  Our results show that graphene is an exceptionally good material for THz heterodyne detection when doped to the Dirac point”, says Samuel Lara-Avila, assistant professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory and lead author of the paper.

  Sergey Cherednichenko, professor at the Terahertz and Millimetre Wave Laboratory and co-author of the paper, says: “According to our theoretical model, this graphene THz detector has a potential to reach quantum-limited operation for the important 1-5 THz spectral range.

  Another crucial aspect for the graphene THz detector is the extremely low power needed for the local oscillator to achieve a trustable detection of faint THz signals, few orders of magnitude lower than superconductors require.

  Sergey Kubatkin, professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory and co-author of the paper, explains: “The core of the THz detector is the system of graphene and molecular assemblies.

  Reference: “Towards quantum-limited coherent detection of terahertz waves in charge-neutral graphene” by S. Lara-Avila, A. Danilov, D. Golubev, H. He, K. H. Kim, R. Yakimova, F. Lombardi, T. Bauch, S. Cherednichenko and S. Kubatkin, 5 August 2019, Nature Astronomy.