Terahertz (THz) Waveguiding Architecture Featuring Doubly-Corrugated Spoofed Surface Plasmon Polariton (DC-SSPP): Theory and Applications in Micro-Electronics and Sensing
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Terahertz (1012 Hz) has long been considered a missing link between microwave and optical IR spectra. This frequency range has attracted enormous research attentions in recent years, with ever-growing anticipation for its applications in remote sensing, molecular spectroscopy, signal processing and next-generation high-speed electronics. However, its development has been seriously hindered by the lack of waveguiding and manipulating architectures that could support the propagation of THz radiations without excessive signal distortion and power loss.
Facing this challenge, this talk exploits the spoofed surface plasmon polariton (SSPP) mode of the THz oscillation, and introduces the doubly corrugated SSPP (DC-SSPP) architecture to support sub-wavelength, low-dispersion THz transmission. DC-SSPP displays unique bandgap structure, which can be effectively modulated via structural and material variables. These unequaled properties make DC-SSPP the ideal solution to support not only signal transmission, but also THz-sensing and THz-electronics applications. In this work, theoretical analysis is carried out to thoroughly characterize the THz propagation, field distribution and transmission band structures in the novel architecture. Via numerical approximation and finite element simulations, design variations of the DC-SSPP are further studied and optimized to fulfill application-specific requirements. We demonstrate effective DNA sensing by adopting the Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) or waveguide-cavity-waveguide insertions, which showed detectability with minuscule sample size. We manifest high-speed analog-to-digital conversion via a combination of MZI DC-SSPP and nonlinear, partial-coupling detector arrays. Full characterization of the proposed ADC is carried out where high operation speed, reasonably small signal distortion and great output linearity is shown. As the future work of the DC-SSPP, building the THz digital circuits is also explored and demonstrated with the concept of directed logic network.