Chris Berry, a doctoral student in the Electrical Engineering program, received a 2012 fellowship from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), for research in the area of terahertz technology for Space applications. This is the third year in a row that he received this fellowship. His advisor is Prof. Mona Jarrahi.
Chris’s research focuses on creating a novel terahertz radiation source which represents a fundamental improvement in the area of terahertz emitters. The proposed emitter incorporates plasmonic photoconductors to more efficiently convert power from incident laser light into terahertz radiation. Due to these plasmonic photoconductors, the emitter is expected to achieve much greater output power than the current, low-power devices.
The emitter is being designed to operate as a light-weight, local oscillator for a terahertz spectroscopy system suitable for use in Space. Using such a terahertz spectroscopy system in Space, the molecular constituents of distant stars, nebulae, and galaxies can be analyzed.