Fundamental Optical Properties and Device Applications of High-Quality Graphene in the THz range

PI: Long Ju, Department of Physics, MIT

Terathertz (THz) frequency, situated between the microwave electronic and infrarared/visible optical frequencies, is the last scientific and technological frontier in the electromagnetic spectrum. It holds great promise for applications ranging from ultrabroad bandwidth wireless transmission, non-invasive medical imaging, and quantum spectroscopy of electron dynamics and superconductivity. However, the potential of terahertz spectrum is hampered by a lack of compact and economic radiation sources and detectors. We propose to study the optical transitions between Landau levels in high-quality graphene, which can be tuned by external magnetic field and electric fields. We aim to understand fundamental physical processes such as optical absorption, photoconductivity and light-emission in this tunable graphene system in the THz frequency range. In addition to fundamental scientific study, we propose to engineer a novel tunable THz detector. Such a detector could enable a conceptually unique spectrometer-free THz spectroscopy that is ideal for various scientific and engineering applications.

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