The European Research Council has granted a Leeds University professor multi-million pound funding to begin research in terahertz optoelectronics.
Professor Edmund Linfield has received the €2.5 million (£2.2 million) Advanced Investigator Grant to develop small devices which use quantum cascade lasers to reach terahertz frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum, Semiconductor Today reports.
The researcher explained: "The potential uses for terahertz technology are wide-ranging, but are currently limited to niche applications in fields such as pharmaceutical analysis and astronomy, as most systems on the market are both expensive and physically large."
He added that his work could lead to the production of portable equipment which would open the market for optoelectronic devices to include industrial process monitoring, security screening, atmospheric science, and medicine.
The Leeds University faculty of engineering is currently engaged in terahertz electronics and photonics research, studying low-dimensional semiconductor structures, nanostructures and super-lattice electron devices.