Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Graphene based plasmonic terahertz amplitude modulator operating above 100 MHz

D. S. Jessop, S. J. Kindness, L. Xiao, P. Braeuninger-Weimer, H. Lin, Y. Ren, C. X. Ren, S. Hofmann, J. A. Zeitler, H. E. Beere, D. A. Ritchie and R. Degl'Innocenti


The terahertz (THz) region of the electromagnetic spectrum holds great potential in many fields of study, from spectroscopy to biomedical imaging, remote gas sensing, and high speed communication. To fully exploit this potential, fast optoelectronic devices such as amplitude and phase modulators must be developed. In this work, we present a room temperature external THz amplitude modulator based on plasmonic bow-tie antenna arrays with graphene. By applying a modulating bias to a back gate electrode, the conductivity of graphene is changed, which modifies the reflection characteristics of the incoming THz radiation. The broadband response of the device was characterized by using THz time-domain spectroscopy, and the modulation characteristics such as the modulation depth and cut-off frequency were investigated with a 2.0 THz single frequency emission quantum cascade laser. An optical modulation cut-off frequency of 105 ± 15 MHz is reported. The results agree well with a lumped element circuit model developed to describe the device.