The department has a long tradition in the infrared and terahertz (THz)- and laboratory spectroscopy. On this basis, we participate in a large number of projects. The analysis of the data that were recorded with these instruments, is an important area of research. In particular we work in these areas:
The airborne observatory SOFIA offers a unique access to the astronomically hardly explored THz spectral range with the latest technologies. With the spectrometers GREAT/upGREAT it is for the first time possible to detect the important atomic oxygen line at 4.7 THz with high spectral resolution. The enabling technology for these measurements is a THz laser system developed at DLR.
Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) for the terahertz range are bright and narrow band semiconductor laser sources. QCLs in the range of 2.5-5.5 THz emit typically several mW of output power and exhibit free-running line widths in the MHz range.
THz images are performed with only a single sensor - so called one pixel cameras - without mechanical movement of the detector.
The identification of gases is of great interest in many fields. E.g. the analysis of human breath has a large medical potential because it contains several hundreds of volatile organic compounds.
The superconducting nanowire single photon detector (SNSPD) is a type of detector with single-photon sensitivity for the spectral range from visible light to THz waves.
Fundamental characteristics of solids can be accessed by complementary optical absorption, luminescence and Raman scattering spectroscopies as well as by time resolved techniques.
Solid state optically pumped THz lasers based on impurity transitions of silicon crystals emit at different frequencies depending on pump wavelength and intensity.
Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is a powerful analytical technique that permits rapid in-situ multielemental analysis and has high potential for application in planetary science.
Raman spectroscopy is a nondestructive technique for material identification. It is fast, unique, and needs no preparation of the investigated sample and is thus very suitable for measurements in extreme situations and environments.