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Electric focusing and steering of THz beams – Collaboration of the University of Marburg and of the University of Tokyo

  • 2013/02/07

In a close collaboration, researchers from the University of Marburg and of the University of Tokyo have demonstrated a device which allows for an electric and flexible focusing and steering of terahertz (THz) waves.

Photo: Bastian Reitemeier, University of Marburg

The ability to redirect and focus THz beams will be of particular importance for THz communication systems, which will work with directed links between emitters and receivers. Yet, the position of THz emitters and/or receivers or the distance between them are likely to change from time to time, as we move with a laptop or other mobile devices freely in a room. Moreover, walking persons or moving objects might block the link. Hence, it is crucial to have the ability to redirect THz beams or to vary their divergence. Other application fields include remote sensing and the inspection of industrial goods.

The device was developed by Yasuaki Monnai in the group of Prof. Hiroyuki Shinoda at the University of Tokyo. It is based on a sub-wavelength array of metal cantilevers which can be micro-mechanically actuated by electrostatic forces such that tunable gratings of different periodicity can be created. Tuning the grating pattern allows for a shaping of the wavefront of the diffracted radiation and, hence, to vary the direction of the THz beams. Furthermore, the divergence of the THz beam can be controlled.

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