In this paper, we report on two different approaches that have been explored to realize tunable and reconfigurable THz devices for advanced imaging and adaptive wireless communication. The first approach makes use of electronically tunable varactor diodes. Frequency tunable THz antennas based on this approach have been successfully demonstrated for the first time in G-band, enabling the development of spectroscopic THz detectors and focal-plane imaging arrays. The second approach takes advantages of optical THz spatial modulation based on photo-induced free carriers in semiconductors. Using this approach, high-performance tunable THz modulators/attenuators, reconfigurable masks for THz coded aperture imaging, and photo-induced Fresnel-zone-plate antennas for dynamic THz beam steering and forming have been successfully demonstrated. Our recent study also shows that by employing the so-called mesa array technique, sub-wavelength spatial resolution and higher than 100 dB modulation depth can be achieved, making it possible to develop tunable THz devices (e.g., tunable filters) with performance and versatility far beyond those realized by conventional approaches. On the basis of the above investigation, the prospects of high-speed near-field THz imaging, real-time ultra-sensitive heterodyne imaging and prototype adaptive THz wireless communication links will be discussed.
L. Liu, M. I. B. Shams, Z. Jiang, S. Rahman, J. L. Hesler, L.-J. Cheng, and P. Fay, "Tunable and reconfigurable THz devices for advanced imaging and adaptive wireless communication," Proc. SPIE 9934, Terahertz Emitters, Receivers, and Applications VII, 993407 (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 28, 2016; Published: 26 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2237709.
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