Project 2.3: Room Temperature LWIR-THz Detection via E-Field Enhancement-Induced Quantum Dot Upconversion

PIs: Bawendi, Bulovic, Nelson, Willard


Long wavelength infrared (LWIR) to terahertz (THz) frequency radiation has many potential applications, especially in material identification and imaging. By combining field enhancement structures (FESs) with optically active, thin film colloidal quantum dots (QDs), Project 2.3 will design novel scintillators with the potential to offer LWIR – THz detection, by up-converting low energy electromagnetic radiation to QD emission in the visible wavelengths. In initial experiments, this THz-driven QD emission is characterized. By further exploring the QD geometry, fabrication parameters, and measurement techniques, researchers will gain insight into the fundamental physics of QDs under strong THz electric fields and the potential mechanisms responsible for THz-to-visible up-conversion. Through a close collaboration, the team can design and optimize LWIR-THz detection systems to provide modular, proof-of-concept devices.