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Integrated microphotonics for terahertz systems

July 6, 2021 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Terahertz waves hold potential for attractive applications including high-volume wireless communications and non-destructive object-penetrating imaging. Despite this, the terahertz range is presently an under-utilized portion of the electromagnetic spectrum due to significant technical challenges. Firstly, it is difficult to generate high power from compact terahertz sources, and this issue is compounded by strong atmospheric attenuation. For this reason, terahertz devices and systems must be highly efficient. Secondly, a suitable general-purpose waveguiding platform for terahertz waves is necessary, but has historically been lacking. Hollow metallic waveguides are currently dominant in the terahertz range, but they are far from ideal; fabrication is challenging and expensive at micro-scale, and metals exhibit non-negligible Ohmic loss at high frequencies. In this presentation, we will discuss a promising viable alternative that is inspired by infrared photonic technologies: all-silicon integrated microphotonics. In brief, various arrangements of through-holes are etched into an intrinsic silicon wafer in order to define features such as photonic crystal, effective media, waveguides, integrated optics, and passive devices. This platform is innately efficient, as high-resistivity intrinsic silicon exhibits essentially negligible absorption in the terahertz range. It is also versatile, as a broad variety of passive components may be monolithically integrated together, and fabricated simultaneously in a single-mask etch process. No potentially-lossy substrate is required, as micro-scale silicon is sufficiently robust to be self-supporting. Finally, although only passive components may be realized directly in this all-intrinsic-silicon platform, hybrid integration provides a way to incorporate terahertz-range active devices, e.g. with III-V semiconductor-based integrated circuits. This presentation is intended to provide an overview of salient developments in integrated microphotonics for terahertz waves, and to give some perspectives on the future. Co-sponsored by: Morteza Shahpari Speaker(s): Dr Daniel Headland , Room: IW 5.57, Bldg: Ingkarni-Wardii, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 5005, Virtual: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/273555