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May 10-12, 200
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IEEE Computer Society
Annual Symposium on



Sunday May 10 Tutorial: 5:50pm 6:30pm

"Terahertz Sensing Technology"
Professor Michael Shur, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA


Terahertz sensing is enabling technology for detection of biological and chemical hazardous agents, cancer detection, detection of mines and explosives, providing security in buildings, airports, and other public space, short-range covert communications (in THz and sub-THz windows), and applications in radioastronomy and space research. This lecture will review the-state-of-the-art of existing THz sources, detectors, and sensing systems. As application examples, I will discuss THz space exploration, sensing of biological materials, broadband THz reflection and transmission detection of concealed objects, THz explosive identification, THz nanocomposite spectroscopy, and THz remote sensing [1, 2].

Most existing terahertz sources have low power and rely on optical means of the terahertz radiation. THz quantum cascade lasers using over thousand alternating layers of gallium arsenide and aluminum gallium arsenide have achieved the highest THz powers generated by optical means. Since the energy of a terahertz photon (4.2 meV for 1 THz) is much smaller than the thermal energy at room temperature, room temperature operation of THz lasers might be limited to the high frequency boundary of the terahertz range of frequencies (e.g. close to 30 THz). Improved designs and using quantum dot medium for THz laser cavities are expected to result in improved THz laser performance. Huge THz powers are generated using free electron lasers.

Two-terminal semiconductor devices are capable of operating at the low bound of the THz range, with the highest frequency achieved using Schottky diode frequency multipliers (exceeding 1 THz). High speed three terminal electronic devices (FETs and HBTs) are approaching the THz range (with cutoff frequencies and maximum frequencies of operation above 1 THz and close to 0.5 GHz for InGaAs and Si technologies respectively. A new approach called plasma wave electronics recently demonstrated terahertz emission and detection in GaAs-based and GaN-based HEMTs and in Si MOS and SOI, including the resonant THz detection at room temperature.


Michael Shur received his M. S. E. E. (engineer) degree (with honors) from St. Petersburg Electrotechnical Institute, Ph. D. in Physics and Mathematics and Doctor of Science in Physics and Mathematics degree, both from A. F. Ioffe Institute. He has held research or faculty positions at A.F. Ioffe Institute, Cornell, Oakland University, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia, where he was John Money Professor of Electrical Engineering and served as Director of Applied Electrophysics Laboratories. He is now Patricia W. and C. Sheldon Roberts'48 Professor of Solid State Electronics, Professor of ECSE, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy. Professor Shur Member of the Honorary Board of Solid State Electronics, member of the International Advisory Committee of Journal of Semiconductor Technology and Science, Vice-President for publications of the IEEE Sensor Council, and member (1999-2003) and Chair (2004-2005) of the IEEE Prize Papers/Scholarships Award Committee. He is also Distinguished Microwave Lecturer of IEEE MTT and Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE EDS. Dr. Shur is Fellow of IEEE, Fellow and life member of the American Physical Society, Fellow of Electrochemical Society, Fellow of World Innovation Foundation, AAAS, life member of IEEE MTT, of Sigma Xi, and of Humboldt Society of America, member of Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi, Electromagnetic Academy, Materials Research Society, ASEE and Sigma Xi. He has published over 1000 technical papers, authored, co-authored or edited 33 books and 28 book chapters, and has been awarded over 30 patents on semiconductor devices and circuits. Dr. Shur is listed by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) as a highly cited researcher in engineering. In 1994, the Saint Petersburg State Technical University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate. Among his other awards are the Gold Medal of the Russian Ministry of Education, several A. F. Ioffe Best Paper Awards, van der Ziel Award, Senior Humboldt Research Prize, Pioneer Award from Compound Semi, RPI School of Engineering Research Award, and Commendation for Excellence in Technical Communications.

[1] D. Woolard, W. Loerop, and M. S. Shur, and, Editors, Terahertz Sensing Technology, Volume II. Emerging Scientific Applications and Novel Device Concepts, World Scientific (2003) ISBN 981-238-611-4
[2] D. Woolard, W. Loerop, and M. S. Shur, and, Editors, Terahertz Sensing Technology, Volume I. Electronic Devices & Advanced Technology, World Scientific (2003) ISBN 981-238-334-4