Letter | Published:

Frequency-division multiplexing in the terahertz range using a leaky-wave antenna

Nature Photonics volume 9, pages 717720 (2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

The idea of using radiation in the 0.1–1.0 THz range as carrier waves for free-space wireless communications has attracted growing interest in recent years, due to the promise of the large available bandwidth1,2. Recent research has focused on system demonstrations3,4, as well as the exploration of new components for modulation5, beam steering6 and polarization control7. However, the multiplexing and demultiplexing of terahertz signals remains an unaddressed challenge, despite the importance of such capabilities for broadband networks. Using a leaky-wave antenna based on a metal parallel-plate waveguide, we demonstrate frequency-division multiplexing and demultiplexing over more than one octave of bandwidth. We show that this device architecture offers a unique method for controlling the spectrum allocation, by variation of the waveguide plate separation. This strategy, which is distinct from those previously employed in either the microwave8 or optical9 regimes, enables independent control of both the centre frequency and bandwidth of multiplexed terahertz channels.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank K. Reichel for contributions. This work was supported by the US National Science Foundation and the W.M. Keck Foundation.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, MS-378, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA

    • Nicholas J. Karl
    • , Robert W. McKinney
    • , Rajind Mendis
    •  & Daniel M. Mittleman
  2. Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

    • Yasuaki Monnai

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Contributions

All of the authors contributed to the conception and design of these experiments. R.W.M. and N.J.K. built the set-up and collected and analysed the data. All authors contributed to the discussions and to the writing of the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Daniel M. Mittleman.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2015.176

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