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11 August 2011 A high sensitivity THz detector
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We have developed a novel THz detector which uses the cantilever technology and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technology to achieve a high sensitivity. The Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) technology is adopted to fabricate the detector, which comprise thermo-sensitive bi-material micro-cantilever, prism and optical readout system. The bi-material of Si3N4 and Al is used to fabricate the micro-cantilever because of the good absorption characteristic for THz of Si3N4 and the great difference in thermal expansion coefficient of the bi-material for the deformation of the micro-cantilever. In order to increase the deformation of micro-cantilever, the method of computer simulation is used to obtain the optimal structure of micro-cantilever and the thickness of Si3N4 and Al. The function of the glass prism is to make the incident light generate total reflection under certain conditions. The gold film is sputtering on the top of glass slide using the method of magnetron sputtering and it is necessary for the generation of SPR performance. The optical readout system can make the change of cantilever bending convert to the change of reflection luminous intensity proportionally. The heat on the micro-cantilever coming from the THz radiation can lose easily in the air, so the detector is placed vertically in a cylindrical vacuum chamber which is sealed with quartz glasses and polyethylene lamina at the two end surfaces respectively. The quartz glass is used for the incidence of visible polarized light and the polyethylene lamina for the THz radiation. In order to maintain the vacuum performance of the chamber, the mechanical pump and molecular pump are adopted. In static mode, THz radiation absorption raises the temperature of micro-cantilever, so it bends proportionally. The micro-cantilever bending changes the thicknesses of the gap between the micro-cantilever and the metallic thin film on the micro-prism. It will result in a shift of the SPR angle. Therefore, the surface plasmon excitation efficiency and therewith the measured at a fixed incident angle reflectance of a metallic film will be changed almost proportionally to the cantilever bending. Consequently, the radiation energy of THz can be determined via the metallic film reflectivity change. Finally, the technology of image processing is introduced in detail.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Bo Su and Guoteng Duan "A high sensitivity THz detector", Proc. SPIE 8195, International Symposium on Photoelectronic Detection and Imaging 2011: Terahertz Wave Technologies and Applications, 81951K (11 August 2011);

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