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Terasense has developed an original patent-protected technology for making a new type of semiconductor detectors for sub-THz rays operating at room temperatures. The detectors can be combined into a compact and rather inexpensive sensor array (similar to CCD/CMOS sensors in a photo camera). The Company is developing imaging applications for THz and sub-THz frequency ranges based on its sensors.At present there are several existing types of sub-THz detectors:
Cryogenic superconducting and semiconducting bolometers
Have excellent detecting properties but are expensive in production and especially in operation.
Require local oscillator for functioning, which makes them rather complex and expensive in production.
Room-temperature bolometers and several kinds of diodes
They are simpler and less expensive but suffer from low responsivity and are difficult for mass production.. All of them exist only as a single detector or short lines, therefore, for imaging applications it is necessary to perform mechanical scan over imaging surface, which complicates device and drastically reduces its performance. Plasmonic detectors proposed by Terasense have good sensitivity comparable with other available detectors working in terahertz range (0.1 – 1.0 THz), but in contrast they are very cheap (few $ per pixel), has uniform pixel-to-pixel sensitivity and they can be easily produced in large quantities in the form of 2D array thanks to compatibility of the Terasense technology with mass semiconductor manufacturing lines. Therefore, the detector is suitable for use as a sensor in an sub-THz camera without any moving parts.