Heterodyne detection at 300 GHz using neon indicator lamp glow discharge detector

Avihai Aharon Akram, Daniel Rozban, Natan S. Kopeika, Amir Abramovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A miniature neon indicator lamp, also known as a glow discharge detector (GDD), costing about 50 cents, was found to be an excellent room temperature terahertz radiation detector. Proof-of-concept 300 GHz heterodyne detection using GDD is demonstrated in this paper. Furthermore, a comparison to direct detection was carried out as well. Previous results with the GDD at 10 GHz showed 40 times better sensitivity using heterodyne detection compared to direct detection. Preliminary results at 300 GHz showed better sensitivity by a factor of 20 with only 56 μW local-oscillator power using heterodyne compared to direct detection. The higher the local-oscillator power (Plo), the better the sensitivity of the detector. Further improvement can be achieved by employing better quasi-optical design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4077-4082
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number17
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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