Abstract

Glow discharge plasma, derived from direct-current gas breakdown, is investigated in order to realize an inexpensive terahertz (THz) room-temperature detector. Preliminary results for THz radiation show that glow discharge indicator lamps as room-temperature detectors yield good responsivity and noise-equivalent power. Development of a focal plane array (FPA) using such devices as detectors is advantageous since the cost of a glow discharge detector is approximately $0.2$0.5 per lamp, and the FPA images will be diffraction limited. The detection mechanism of the glow discharge detector is found to be the enhanced diffusion current, which causes the glow discharge detector bias current to decrease when exposed to THz radiation.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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