- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of infrared millimeter and terahertz waves
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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We present a theoretical study on the performance of graphene-loaded coplanar waveguide switches for 5G and beyond applications. Therefore, we exploit the tunable properties of graphene to device cost-effective, large-scale, broadband sub- millimeter-wave switches. Given the sheet impedance of biased and unbiased graphene monolayers, the model provides the optimum switching ratio with respect to insertion loss, characteristic impedance of transmission line, and graphene geometry. Using measured graphene sheet resistance, we compute the optimum switching performance for series and shunt single- pole-single-though sub-millimeter-wave (220-330 GHz) switches.
Semiconductor photoconductive switches are useful and versatile emitters of terahertz (THz) radiation with a broad range of applications in THz imaging and time-domain spectroscopy. One fundamental challenge for achieving efficient ultrafast switching, however, is the relatively long carrier lifetime in most common semiconductors. To obtain picosecond ultrafast pulses, especially when coupled with waveguides/transmission lines, semiconductors are typically engineered with high defect density to reduce the carrier lifetimes, which in turn lowers the overall power output of the photoconductive switches. To overcome this fundamental trade-off, here we present a new hybrid photoconductive switch design by engineering a hot-carrier fast lane using graphene on silicon. While photoexcited carriers are generated in the silicon layer, similar to a conventional switch, the hot carriers are transferred to the graphene layer for efficient collection at the contacts. As a result, the graphene-silicon hybrid photoconductive switch emits THz fields with up to 80 times amplitude enhancement compared to its graphene-free counterpart. These results both further the understanding of ultrafast hot carrier transport in such hybrid systems and lay the groundwork toward intrinsically more powerful THz devices based on 2D-3D hybrid heterostructures.
As a key potential component of future sixth-generation (6G) communication systems, terahertz (THz) technology has received much attention in recent years. However, a lack of effective high-speed direct modulation of THz waves has limited the development of THz communication technology. Currently, most high-speed modulators are based on photonic systems that can modulate electromagnetic waves with high speed using sophisticated optoelectronic conversion techniques. Yet, they usually suffer from low conversion efficiency of light to the THz range, resulting in low output power of the modulated THz waves. Here, we describe a guided-wave modulator for THz signals whose performance nearly matches that of existing in-line fiber-optic modulators. Our results demonstrate a maximum modulation depth greater than 20 dB (99%) and a maximum sinusoidal modulation speed of more than 30 GHz, with an insertion loss around 7 dB. We demonstrate the capabilities of this modulator in a point-to-point communication link with a 25 Gbit/s modulation speed. Our modulator design, based on near-field coupling of a THz transmission line to a single resonant meta-element, represents a powerful improvement for on-chip integrated high-performance THz devices.
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