Terahertz Signal Generator

This novel transducer is capable of generating electromagnetic signals in terahertz region. The unique feature of this invention is the use of a field emitter array as a source of electron beam together with a resonant cavity to achieve output radiation of 300 GHz to 10 THz.



The transducer mainly consists of a field emitter array and a hollow cavity with apertures. As a voltage is applied to the field emitter array, a beam of electrons is produced. This electron beam enters the cavity through aligned apertures and resonates until a desired frequency range is reached.



  • Compared with conventional generators for lower end of the terahertz gap, this STFC invention is more suitable for mass production and cost-effective.
  • Application specific benefits from the capability to profile spatially distributed electron beam to match the resonant cavity characteristics. This is advantageous in applications such as medical imaging.
  • Design of the transducer allows an array of generators to be produced on a single wafer which can be integrated with other devices such as an array-detector system. The spacing between apertures of the resonant cavity can be selected to provide power combination effects.
  • Narrow bandwidth of electron energy - in order of 0.2 eV - can be achieved by the field emitter array. This produces energy spread five times smaller than conventional thermionic emitters.



  • Terahertz signal generator
  • This technology has a potential to be exploited in the field of medical imaging because terahertz radiation is a non-ionising radiation and can penetrate many everyday substances.
  • Security scanning and non-destructive testing in industry


Patent Information:
Country Serial No.
United States 10/203493
For Information, Contact:
Elizabeth Bain
IP Manager
STFC Innovations
+44 (0) 1925 60 3680