We present a review of existing and potential next-generation far-infrared (20-60 μm) optical materials and devices. The far-infrared is currently one of the few remaining frontiers on the optical spectrum, a space underdeveloped and lacking in many of the optical and optoelectronic materials and devices taken for granted in other, more technologically mature wavelength ranges. The challenges associated with developing optical materials, structures, and devices at these wavelengths are in part a result of the strong phonon absorption in the Reststrahlen bands of III-V semiconductors that collectively span the far-infrared. More than just an underexplored spectral band, the far-IR may also be of potential importance for a range of sensing applications in astrochemistry, biology, and industrial and geological processes. Additionally, with a suitable far-IR optical infrastructure, it is conceivable that even more applications could emerge. In this review, we will present recent progress on far-infrared materials and phenomena such as phononic surface modes, engineered composite materials, and optoelectronic devices that have the potential to serve as the next generation of components in a far-infrared optical tool-kit.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics