We have modeled and demonstrated a scalable, compact, fiber-pumped terahertz source based on difference frequency mixing (DFM) in zinc germanium phosphide (ZGP) capable of producing high average and peak-power pulses. Currently, our terahertz source produces 2mW of average THz power and >40W of peak power with sub-nanosecond pulses at a repetition rate of 100kHz in the range of 2-3THz without cryogenic cooling or ultra-fast optics. This high average power laser-based terahertz output enables the real-time imaging of concealed objects using an off-the-shelf uncooled microbolometer focal-plane array. With this THz system, we have imaged objects obscured inside in a common shipping envelope, demonstrating the potential of compact laser-based terahertz sources for use in security screening applications.
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