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Posted: October 19, 2009

Novel semiconductor nanostructure design revolutionizes T-ray lasers

(Nanowerk News) Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd., the technology transfer arm of the University, today announced that Professor L.D. Shvartsman and Professor B. Laikhtman, from the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have invented a novel design of TeraHertz-ray, or T-ray, lasers. Using nanostructures which are based on semiconductors with special properties, the novel device will have 400 times higher gain than THz quantum cascade lasers, the only coherent T-ray sources existing today. This invention will make T-ray based cameras and spectrometers practical, ushering a new era in security and medical imaging.
T-rays are electromagnetic waves with a wavelength shorter than microwave but longer than infrared. They are extremely attractive for various imaging applications due to three main reasons: they can penetrate through various substances, including clothing and even walls, they are harmless, and therefore allow a safe use for healthcare and homeland security applications and they can detect various chemicals, in particular explosives. Thus, T-ray-based devices can detect hidden weapons and explosives, as well as improve patient care and safety in healthcare facilities by allowing an unlimited number of exposures for medical examinations. However, despite all the advantages of T-rays, they are barely used due to lack of T-ray emitters that will generate powerful, coherent and adjustable terahertz waves. The invention of Professor Laikhtman and Professor Shvartsman overcomes these current limitations and suggests the design of effective THz lasers.
"TeraHertz rays are the imaging method of the future. They are comparable to X-rays in terms of their ability to penetrate opaque substances, but more importantly, they are harmless," said Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum. "The novel method to produce efficient T-ray emitters will enable the use of this important imaging source for various applications, including security and medical applications."
About Yissum
Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. was founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University`s intellectual property. Products based on Hebrew University technologies that have been commercialized by Yissum currently generate $1.2 Billion in annual sales. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies in the world, Yissum has registered over 6,100 patents covering 1,750 inventions; has licensed out 480 technologies and has spun-off 65 companies. Yissum`s business partners span the globe and include companies such as Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Teva, Intel, IBM, Phillips, Sygenta, Vilmorin, Monsanto and many more.
Source: Yissum Research Development Company
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