An “ERC Starting Grant” (1.5 million euro) goes to Sascha Preu, Assistant Professor for terahertz systems technology.


Taking full advantage of the terahertz spectrum

Professor Sascha Preu and his team want to combine optical and terahertz technologies, in order to develop new photonic vector network analysers and photonic spectrum analysers that are far more powerful than the existing electronic terahertz systems.

The terahertz range (100 GHz-10 THz) lies between infrared radiation and microwaves, that is, on the boundary between electronics and optics. Despite the great advances made over the last two decades, this is still the least used range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The extremely high cost of systems to characterise circuits and components is not the only factor making it difficult to develop efficient components and systems. This is the starting point for Professor Preu’s project, that intends to cover a considerable part of the THz spectrum. The project focuses in particular on photonic systems that can also analyse THz chips. This should help make it easier to develop THz circuits and compact THz systems.

New technologies must be explored, which can allow wideband photonic components to be integrated on a chip and which can be used for system integration. Photonic circuits have multiple advantages compared to conventional metallic circuits – such as far lower losses at high frequencies.