"TERAHERTZ: research gains momentum
Already the first crude images from terahertz image chips have proven that Superman-style "X-ray vision" may soon be commonplace. Last year the European Space Agency's StarTiger R&D team showed a 16-pixel device that they claim produced the world's first terahertz picture of a human hand. The detector used a silicon photonic-bandgap material. Likewise, microelectromechanical systems are also being crafted to bridge the terahertz gap. At least one group has built a stack of silicon bars with a micromachined funnel that focuses terahertz signals of 1- to 10-micron wavelengths. Both traditional- and quantum-transistor experimenters have also reported progress. Intel Corp., for one, promises a "terahertz" transistor later in this decade using silicon-on-insulator technology, a fully depleted substrate and a high-k gate dielectric.
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