Hyperspectral imaging is a spectroscopic imaging technique that allows for the creation of images with pixels containing information from multiple spectral bands. At terahertz wavelengths, it has emerged as a prominent tool for a number of applications, ranging from nonionizing cancer diagnosis and pharmaceutical characterization to nondestructive artifact testing. Contemporary terahertz imaging systems typically rely on nonlinear optical downconversion of a fiber-based near-infrared femtosecond laser, requiring complex optical systems. Here, we demonstrate hyperspectral imaging with chip-scale frequency combs based on terahertz quantum cascade lasers. The dual combs are freerunning and emit coherent terahertz radiation that covers a bandwidth of 220 GHz at 3.4 THz with ~10 µW per line. The combination of the fast acquisition rate of dual-comb spectroscopy with the monolithic design, scalability, and chip-scale size of the combs is highly appealing for future imaging applications in biomedicine and the pharmaceutical industry.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics