Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Quantum cascade lasers

Beam control

Sci. Rep. 5, 16207 (2015)

A novel way to control the amplitude and phase of terahertz (THz) emitters has now been demonstrated by Francesco Mezzapesa and co-workers from Italy. A quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting at 3.93 THz served as a THz emitter. Patterned near-infrared laser light, made by passing light from an 832-nm laser through a spatial light modulator, was shone onto a 1-mm-thick n-type silicon slab. The patterned laser light induced a photocarrier distribution in the silicon altering its permittivity. This spatial variation in permittivity can be used modify the amplitude and phase of a THz beam that is shone onto the silicon from a nearby THz QCL and subsequently reflected. The approach may lead to the creation of phase modulators, switches and active hyperbolic media that operate in the THz spectral regime.


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Horiuchi, N. Beam control. Nature Photon 10, 2 (2016).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing