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Although terahertz (THz) radiation was first observed about 100 years ago, this portion of the electromagnetic spectrum at the boundary between the microwaves and the infrared has been, for a long time, rather poorly explored. This situation changed with the rapid development of coherent THz sources such as solid-state oscillators, quantum cascade lasers, optically pumped solid-state devices, and novel coherent radiator devices. These in turn have stimulated a wide variety of applications from material science to telecommunications, from biology to biomedicine. Recently, there have been two related compact coherent radiation devices invented able to produce up to megawatts of peak THz power by inducing a ballistic bunching effect on the electron beam, forcing the beam to radiate coherently. An introduction to the two systems and the corresponding output photon beam characteristics will be provided.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2007