The public is invited
“Active Terahertz and High-Frequency Electronics”
Promising applications in many diverse areas of human endeavor, including medicine, biology, communications,security, astronomy, and so on, terahertz (THz) technology has recently turned into a very active area of scientificresearch. The THz frequency band, usually defined in the 0.1-30 THz range, was for decades one of the least exploredregions of the electromagnetic spectrum, mainly due to the lack of materials and devices responding to these frequenciesin a controllable manner. Even today, there is still a need for devices efficiently manipulating THz waves. In this talk Iwill discuss tunable two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) systems and how their unique physical properties can beharnessed to develop novel high-performance active THz/high-frequency devices and systems.I will start by introducing a new class of highly efficient THz reconfigurable devices based on graphene. Byemploying graphene, an intrinsically 2D semiconductor as the active material, device design with unprecedenteddegrees of freedom, low-cost, and ease of fabrication is possible, thus leading to a substantial improvement with respectto the existing art in terms of controllability of THz waves. Although in the infrared/visible range the optical absorptionof graphene is only a few percent and scarcely controllable, its optical conductivity dramatically increases in the THzrange leading to the possibility of electrical control of THz absorption [1-2]. Moreover, by combining active graphenelayers with other passive structures augmenting the intensity of the electric field in the graphene, the control over THzwaves can be greatly enhanced [3-5]. These devices can be employed as the building blocks for new grapheme-basedTHz systems; for instance single detector THz cameras can be developed by employing arrays of graphene electro-absorption modulators as electrically reconfigurable patterns .Later on, I will discuss other fascinating properties of tunable 2DEG systems such as electron transport via plasmawaves which can be exploited for THz/high-frequency electronics. Based on this phenomenon, novel device conceptsfor detectors, oscillators, amplifiers, etc. can be developed. These devices, named RTD-gated plasma wave HEMTs [7-8],promise efficient operation at frequencies well above 1 THz, which has been shown to be very difficult to obtain inconventional high-speed transistors.Finally, future research directions will be discussed, including: THz beam steering, electron-plasma-wave high-speedactive devices and plasmonic integrated circuits, ultrafast THz beam switching, and so on.
 B. Sensale-Rodriguez et al. Applied Physics Letters, v. 11, 113104, 2011. B. Sensale-Rodriguez et al. Nature Communications, v.3, 780, 2012. B. Sensale-Rodriguez et al. Nano Letters, v.12, 4518, 2012. B. Sensale-Rodriguez et al. Applied Physics Letters, v. 101, 261115, 2012. R. Yan and B. Sensale-Rodriguez et al., Optics Express, v. 20, 28664, 2012. B. Sensale-Rodriguez et al., Optics Express, v. 21, 2324, 2013. B. Sensale-Rodriguez et al., ECS Transactions, v. 49, 93, 2012. B. Sensale-Rodriguez et al., “Power Amplification at THz via Plasma Wave Excitation in RTD-gated HEMTs”, IEEETrans. Terahertz Sci. Technol., in press (DOI: 10.1109/TTHZ.2012.2235909), 2013.
Dr. Berardi Sensale-Rodriguez
Doctoral CandidateDepartment of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of Notre DameFebruary 8 – WEB 1230 – 3:05 p.m.