Within the scope of the »Programme Inter Carnot Fraunhofer (PICF)« scientists of the Institute together with partners of a French Carnot Institute have developed powerful antennas and highly sensitive detectors for standoff detection of explosives, drugs and other concealed hazardous substances.
During the project various antenna designs have been fabricated and tested. For THz generation different materials were used, e.g. low temperature grown (LTG)-GaAs layers on semi-insulating (SI) GaAs substrate for a better comparability of the new antenna designs to common antennas. Furthermore antennas based on LTG-GaAs photoconductive switches (PCS) on high resistivity silicon (HR Si) substrates were tested. This promises a reduction of manufacturing costs while maintaining comparable quality.
In addition a multi-channel system based on the developed emitter- and detector arrays including optimized electronics was set-up. This fiber-coupled multi-channel system enables a flexible system setup in transmission or reflection assembly. The newly developed electronics allow the simultaneous control of several measurement modules and faster data acquisition.
Next to security applications, the novel components and the acquired knowledge build a valuable background for developing systems for material or production monitoring. The competences of the two partners perfectly complement one another, which makes the project an example for a successful international cooperation.
- Institute IEMN: Growing of semiconductor material for THz components and manufacturing of PCS as single element and/or arrays.
- Fraunhofer ITWM (formerly IPM): Commercializes these elements as components and integrate them into custom designed THz systems.