Prof. Benjamin Williams, in collaboration with Aydin Babakhani, Subramanian Iyer in the UCLA ECE Department, and Mitchell Spearrin in the UCLA MAE Department, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Future of Semiconductors (FuSe) grant entitled: “FuSe: Electronic-photonic heterogeneous integration for sensing above 1 THz.”  The goal is to develop hybrid electronic-photonic semiconductor devices that operate at frequencies above 1 terahertz (THz). Current semiconductors fabricated at silicon-industry foundries can generate and detect radiation at ever-increasing frequencies, but the signals become weak at frequencies exceeding 1 THz. The researchers are pursuing an approach based on the heterogeneous integration of silicon electronic chips with III-V terahertz laser amplifier chips on a common THz interconnect platform. The resulting system is anticipated to operate above 1.5 THz, which will allow it to detect the telltale spectral fingerprints of a range of gases. The group plans to demonstrate the system’s performance in environmental, industrial and scientific sensing applications.

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