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Silicon–plasmonic integrated circuits for terahertz signal generation and coherent detection

Nature Photonicsvolume 12pages625633 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

Optoelectronic signal processing offers great potential for generation and detection of ultra-broadband waveforms in the terahertz range (so-called T-waves). However, fabrication of the underlying devices still relies on complex processes using dedicated III–V semiconductor substrates. This severely restricts the application potential of current T-wave transmitters and receivers and impedes co-integration of these devices with advanced photonic signal processing circuits. Here, we demonstrate that these limitations can be overcome by plasmonic internal-photoemission detectors (PIPEDs). PIPEDs can be realized on the silicon photonic platform, which allows exploiting the enormous opportunities of the associated device portfolio. In our experiments, we demonstrate both T-wave signal generation and coherent detection at frequencies up to 1 THz. To prove the viability of our concept, we monolithically integrate PIPED transmitters and receivers on a common silicon chip and use them to measure the complex transfer impedance of an integrated T-wave device.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant ‘EnTeraPIC’, no. 280145; ERC Consolidator Grant ‘TeraSHAPE’, no. 773248), by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, by the Helmholtz International Research School of Teratronics (HIRST), by the Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics (KSOP) and by the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF).

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Affiliations

  1. Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

    • T. Harter
    • , S. Muehlbrandt
    • , S. Ummethala
    • , A. Schmid
    • , W. Freude
    •  & C. Koos
  2. Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

    • T. Harter
    • , S. Muehlbrandt
    • , S. Ummethala
    • , L. Hahn
    •  & C. Koos
  3. Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI), Berlin, Germany

    • S. Nellen

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Contributions

T.H., S.M., W.F. and C.K. developed the idea. T.H., S.M., S.U. and L.H. contributed to the fabrication of the devices. T.H., S.M., W.F. and C.K. developed the mathematical formulation. T.H., S.M. and A.S. conducted the measurements. T.H. and S.N. performed experiments to calibrate the reference Tx and Rx. T.H. performed electromagnetic simulations. W.F. and C.K. supervised the project. T.H., W.F. and C.K. wrote the paper. All authors revised the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to T. Harter or C. Koos.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-018-0237-x

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