, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 225-232,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 22 Dec 2010

Compact cw Terahertz Spectrometer Pumped at 1.5 μm Wavelength


A compact and low-cost continuous wave terahertz spectrometer operating at an optical wavelength of 1.5 μm is presented. The spectrometer employs high power distributed feedback (DFB) laser diodes in integrated “butterfly” packages. No further optical amplification of the beating signal is required. An integrated photodiode antenna with an output power of 5 μW at 500 GHz is used as efficient terahertz emitter. Employing low-temperature grown (LT-) InGaAs/InAlAs photoconductive receivers as coherent detectors, SNR values of the terahertz power up to 75 dB are attained at an integration time of 300 ms. Accurate characterization of the thermal tuning behavior of the DFBs and precise thermal control yield an absolute accuracy of 1 GHz and a resolution of better than 5 MHz, without any on-line monitoring of the optical frequency. Due to the high frequency resolution no delay line is needed to vary the terahertz phase.