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Siegel_Review_Article-2

Siegel_Review_Article-2 - 910 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON...

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910 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 50, NO. 3, MARCH 2002 Terahertz Technology Peter H. Siegel , Fellow, IEEE Invited Paper Abstract— Terahertz technology applications, sensors, and sources are briefly reviewed. Emphasis is placed on the less familiar components, instruments, or subsystems. Science drivers, some historic background, and future trends are also discussed. Index Terms— Applications, submillimeter, technology, THz. I. I NTRODUCTION T HESE DAYS, it is not possible to do justice to an entire field or give sufficient credit to all its deserving technical innovators in one short paper, even in a relatively narrow area of development like terahertz technology. If this were the case, we wouldnothavesuchaplethoraofjournalstosubmitto,norconfer- encestoattend.Onethingiscertain,theIEEEMicrowaveTheory and Techniques Society (IEEE MTT-S), through its journals and sponsored conferences, has played a major role in defining, dis- tributinginformationon,andadvancingthefieldofterahertztech- nology since the society’s inception a half-century ago. During the course of this paper, we look back to the infancy of modern terahertz technology, beginning where Wiltse so ably left off in 1984 [1], pass through early childhood, and end up at adoles- cence. The field is perched on adulthood and perhaps, in another quarter-century, a more complete history can be written, hope- fully by someone reading this paper today. II. B ACKGROUND The first occurrence of the term terahertz in this T RANSACTIONS is attributed to Fleming [2] in 1974, where the term was used to describe the spectral line frequency coverage of a Michelson interferometer. A year earlier, Kerecman [3] ap- plied terahertz to the frequency coverage of point contact diode detectors in an IEEE MTT-S conference digest paper. Ashley and Palka [4] used the designation to refer to the resonant frequency of a water laser in the same digest. Spectroscopists had much earlier coined the term for emission frequencies that fell below the far infrared (IR). 1 Today, terahertz is broadly applied to submillimeter-wave energy that fills the Manuscript received August 21, 2001. This work was supported by the Cali- fornia Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The author is with the Submillimeter Wave Advanced Technology Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099 USA. Publisher Item Identifier S 0018-9480(02)01958-0. 1 The Oxford English Dictionary dates the term “terahertz” back to at least 1970 where it was used to describe the frequency range of an HeNe laser. In 1947, the International Telecommunications Union designated the highest offi- cial radio frequency bands [extremely high frequency (EHF)] as bands 12–14, 300 kMc–300 MMc (1 MMc 1 THz).
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