Monday, January 23, 2012

Star Trek Fans - Tricorders Incoming!!!? Nano-Scale Terahertz Antenna Has Now Been Created! What's Next?

""a new, minuscule terahertz antenna that promised to change the world of medical and security imaging, and super-high-speed wireless transmissions. That antenna, made by Japanese semiconductor company Rohm, was a few millimeters long — an order of magnitude smaller than existing terahertz systems. Today, researchers from Imperial College London and A*STAR in Singapore have shown off a terahertz antenna that’s just 100 nanometers across — about 30,000 times smaller than Rohm’s antenna.""

""This nano-scale antenna is fashioned out of a pair of electrodes, placed 100 nanometers apart, on a piece of silicon. A light source is then funneled through the gap, where a strong electric current amplifies the signal. This technique is apparently capable of emitting tunable terahertz beams (T-rays) that are some two orders of magnitude stronger than existing terahertz systems, and across a broader spectrum.""

""As it stands, because of the of the difficulty of producing terahertz radiation, T-rays have only really been used in lab conditions. Basically, though, T-rays have the same applications as EHF radiation (extremely high frequency, the band below T-rays), but they’re stronger, faster, and more accurate. We currently use EHF in millimeter wave scanners at some airports, medical imaging, and emerging wireless protocols like WiGig.
 Where EHF can see through your clothes, T-rays are capable of penetrating a few millimeters of your skin — this is obviously useful for security applications, but also for medical imaging. Where EHF can transmit data at a few gigabits per second, T-rays could reach 30Gbps or more.""

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