Trevor Blaikie has been a member of the QNC-MBE group since September 2020 following the completion of his undergraduate degree in physics. Trevor obtained his BSc (Hons) at Ontario Tech University, specializing in astrophysics. From studying the cosmos on the largest of scales to studying nanomaterials at the atomic scale, he has many interests from physics and engineering. An area of particular interest to Trevor is nanophotonics, studying the interactions of light and matter. Trevor's current research is focused on developing new III-V semiconductor nanomaterials that interact with terahertz frequency light (electromagnetic radiation) to improve the functionality of terahertz technologies.
Terahertz (THz) radiation is any electromagnetic radiation whose frequency is within the THz band (0.1 THz - 10 THz). Unlike other bands of electromagnetic radiation, THz radiation generation has been challenging, and many important applications remain heavily underdeveloped. Recently, portable and powerful terahertz quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) have been developed that open up many previously inaccessible pathways in THz research and applications. THz radiation is used in many applications including, chemical sensing, astronomy, security, environmental monitoring, data storage, and high-speed communications. Because of its ability to penetrate many materials, THz radiation also has applications in structural analysis and diagnosing skin cancer. The list goes on.
Needless to say, the improvement of THz sources will have significant impacts on many lives. Trevor is seeking to improve THz sources, like the QCL, by developing new optoelectronic devices through nanofabrication procedures. This requires the use of a plethora of different tools from theoretical models and simulations, X-ray characterization from synchrotron sources, a variety of nanofabrication techniques, and of course molecular beam epitaxy.