Tim Benseman

Tim Benseman first worked with Dr Jeff Tallon and the Robinson team during his Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree.

This was followed by time working at Robinson as a summer intern and finally while studying for his Masters in physics in 2003.

He is now a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, although he spends a lot of his time working in the materials science division at Argonne National Laboratory on terahertz electronics.

Tim says the research he carried out more than ten years ago led directly to the work he is currently involved in.

“I studied quantum mechanical tunnelling between copper oxide layers in micron-scale mesa devices made of BSCCO, to help understand the pairing mechanism in high-temperature superconductors.”

Tim’s experiments and practical experience at Robinson led to him travelling to the University of Cambridge in 2003 to complete a PhD in a closely related field.

“I’m now working on a solid-state terahertz laser for the 0.3–1.5 THz frequency range. This range is of particular interest for high bandwidth telecommunications, scientific imaging and detection, and security and defence purposes, but there are no convenient laser sources available at the moment.

“These laser devices are also made of BSCCO mesas, but are about 100 times longer in all three dimensions than the ones I first worked on as a student. That makes them larger in volume by a factor of one million.”