Abstract

Charge-coupled devices (CCDs) are a well-established imaging technology in the visible and x-ray frequency ranges. However, the small quantum photon energies of terahertz radiation have hindered the use of this mature semiconductor technological platform in this frequency range, leaving terahertz imaging totally dependent on low-resolution bolometer technologies. Recently, it has been shown that silicon CCDs can detect terahertz photons at a high field, but the detection sensitivity is limited. Here we show that silicon, complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology offers enhanced detection sensitivity of almost two orders of magnitude, compared to CCDs. Our findings allow us to extend the low-frequency terahertz cutoff to less than 2 THz, nearly closing the technological gap with electronic imagers operating up to 1 THz. Furthermore, with the silicon CCD/CMOS technology being sensitive to mid-infrared (mid-IR) and the x-ray ranges, we introduce silicon as a single detector platform from 1 EHz to 2 THz. This overcomes the present challenge in spatially overlapping a terahertz/mid-IR pump and x-ray probe radiation at facilities such as free electron lasers, synchrotron, and laser-based x-ray sources.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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