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Plasmonic and Metamaterial Based Terahertz Devices such as Sensors and Modulators


Academic year: 2023

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38 2.5 The field profiles of the pyramidal structured plasmonic waveguide for .. different THz modes, i.e. a) Fundamental mode in zy plane; B). 41 2.6 Numerically calculated Q-factor of the fundamental mode and higher order .. modes of plasmonic waveguide with pyramidal grooves.

Terahertz Frequency Spectrum

THz generation and detection

In the initial phase of research in the THz region, the generation of THz was considered exceptionally difficult [12]. Based on the excitation of the laser, these sources can be divided into two categories: Continuous wave (CW) THz source (narrowband): Photomixing Antenna (PMA) and Pulsed THz source (broadband): Photoconductive Antenna (PCA).

Applications of THz radiations

Incoming THz signals create an electric field over the electrode gap region of the antenna. Therefore, terahertz imaging is used in dentistry [10], digestive system [34], disease or tumor recognition [35], body analysis [36] and bone analysis [37].


  • Surface plasmon
  • Excitation of surface plasmons at the THz frequency
  • Plasmonic structures for THz guided wave applications
  • Design, fabrication and characterization
    • Numerical design
    • Fabrication
    • Terahertz time domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS)

The dispersion relation of the surface plasmon polaritons at a single metal-dielectric interface is given by [45]. The surface of the silicon can be coated with a layer of silicon dioxide (SiO2) with a thickness of 1-2 µm grown by the technique of low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD).

Important concepts of plasmonics in context of thesis

Thin-film sensing via surface plasmons

Using the transmission line LC circuit model, we were able to validate and understand numerical observations in the case of the plasmonic waveguide as refractive index sensors. The intrinsic impedance (Z0) of the circuit can be calculated from the dimension of the plasmonic geometry.

Near field coupling between resonators

Strong near-field coupling between the resonances of the asymmetric resonators can lead to interference from the assist modes. This can be managed by controlling the near-field coupling of the resonances without changing the physical parameters.

Plasmon Induced Transparency (PIT)

The studies to date in this area have focused on passive tuning of the PIT response. A modeling approach based on coupled harmonic oscillator systems can be used to understand the underlying concept of PIT.


  • Dielectric metamaterials
  • THz metamaterial absorber
  • Design, fabrication and characterization of THz metamaterials . 24
    • Fabrication
    • Terahertz time domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS)
  • Absorption modulation

This effect is caused by localized plasmons (usually bright mode) on the surface of the metamaterial. Modulation of the PIT effect, despite being significant, has not been investigated so far, to the best of our knowledge.

Motivation of thesis work

They reported enhanced absorption bandwidth regarding increased bias voltage for orthogonal polarizations due to excitation of surface plasmons [109]. Therefore, actively tunable absorption modulation demands attention due to its applications in actively tunable terahertz devices.

Plan of thesis

The refractive index of the dielectric material is varied to observe the tunable control of the PIT effect. A comprehensive picture of modulation of the effect with the refractive index is presented by the contour plot.

Design of THz waveguide with inverted pyramidal corrugations

We have also investigated the dispersion properties of the waveguide with grooves at different heights in this section. To check the quality of the modes, we examine the quality factors of fundamental and higher order modes in the next section.

Dispersion characteristics of the waveguide

As the groove length increases, the dispersion curves of both modes shift away from the light line and saturate at lower frequency values. We notice that as the depth of the pyramidal grooves increases, the dispersion curve saturates at the lowest frequency value.

Plasmonic waveguide transmission

Numerical analysis

A blue shift in the resonant behavior of the fundamental and 2nd order modes is evident. For the higher order mode, the value of the groove length (s) also reduces electric field confinement.

Semi-analytical approach

In Fig.2.3(b), the first dotted trace shows the fundamental mode and the second trace shows the higher order mode. These losses have a significant effect on signal loss and thus on spectrum width.

Quality factor and sensor characteristics of the modes

It can be noted that the quality factor (Q) of the fundamental mode decreases as the length of pyramidal grooves increases. When the refractive index of the analyte is increased, we see a linear shift in the anti-resonance frequencies of both fundamental and 2nd order modes.


Fig. 2.7(b) shows the plot of sensitivity of the modes versus the volume of analyte filled in the grooves. For 0.03 mm3 of the analyte, the sensitivity for the 2nd modes is calculated to be 0.19T Hz/RIU, but for the same amount of analyte it is found to be 0.11 T Hz/RIU for the 1st order mode.

Schematic of waveguide comprising asymmetric resonators

In this chapter, near-field coupling of surface plasmon waves from asymmetric resonators in THz plasmonic waveguides is described. By controlling the coupling of near-field resonances, such effects can be observed without changing the physical parameters.

Dispersion properties of the waveguide

Numerically simulated waveguide transmission

These values ​​were in agreement with the antiresonant frequencies of the plasmonic modes appearing in the image. These frequencies correspond to the two cutoff frequencies of the resonances and the absorption dip in the spectrum of the coupled system, as shown in Fig. 2.


Furthermore, it can be observed that the value of the geometric parameter decreases when both resonators are present in the near field region. This occurs due to the coupling between the two bright resonators, decreasing the coupling of the incident field with mode-1 and mode-2.

Modulating the waveguide transmission

The variation of the coupling coefficient with increasing gap (g) between the resonators is shown in the inset of Fig. Next, we study the modulation of the absorption window by varying the length of AP2(l2) in the waveguide spanning AP1 and AP2 .


We see a redshift in the resonant frequency of the plasmonic modes with an increase in the length of resonators. The results appear to be consistent with numerical findings for a given set of waveguide parameters.


In this work, we investigate the PIT effect in a parallel double-slit waveguide configuration, which provides active control of this effect with respect to the dielectric filled in one of the waveguide slots. The refractive index of the dielectric material is then varied to observe tunable control of the PIT effect.

Schematic of Terahertz waveguide

Waveguide transmission

As a result, we see a PIT window at 0.93 THz, due to the destructive interference of the two bright modes. A sharp change in the group index indicates a highly diffused nature of the PIT effect, which is important for several applications, including slow light systems.

Electric field profiles

One can notice that the bright mode is shifted red as the refractive index value of the dielectric material is increased. Furthermore, we calculated the group index value corresponding to the phase plot in the same figure which can be noticed in the blue color trace.


The spectrum shows the PIT effect for specific values ​​of different parameters, given in Table 4.1. The resonance frequencies corresponding to RS-1 and RS-2 are obtained by fitting the parameters given in the table with the numerically simulated results.

Tunable control of PIT window

Therefore, the blue shift of the resonance mode on the lower frequency side occurs due to the change of the resonance frequency ω2. We also observed that the PIT window can be tuned by varying the refractive index of the dielectric material.


Furthermore, we vary the refractive index of the dielectric material to actively modulate the PIT window. A comprehensive picture of active modulation of the PIT window with conductance is presented by a contour plot.

Schematic of THz waveguide

In our designed metal-air-metal waveguide that includes pyramidal grooves, a terahertz broadband signal is coupled to one end of the waveguide. To make grooves, a silicon wafer can be glued to the back of the pyramidal openings using a conductive epoxy.

Waveguide transmission and PIT effect: Simulation and Theory

Furthermore, it can be observed that the value of the geometric parameter increases when the waveguide configuration consists of both PG-1 and PG-2 resonators instead of a waveguide comprising one of the two resonators. This is due to the strong coupling of the two resonant modes supported by the combined structure of both PG-1 and PG-2 with the incident terahertz beam rather than the coupling of either of the two resonant modes supported by PG-1 or PG-2 in the proposed waveguide configurations.

Electric field profiles

From the figures, it can be noted that theoretically obtained dip frequencies of two resonance modes together with the plasmon-induced window match the numerically obtained results.

Active modulation of PIT window

From the table, one can see that as we increase the refractive index value of dielectric material in PG-2, the coupling coefficient value increases. This is due to the fact that the propagating terahertz surface waves along the gap undergo more interaction as we increase the refractive index value of dielectric material.

Tunability of transparency window using silicon sheet

In the figure, the frequency and electrical conductivity values ​​of silicon are shown along the x- and y-axis, respectively, while the color bar indicates the amplitudes of the transmission spectrum. The resonance mode supported by PG-2 disappears as the electrical conductivity value of silicon increases, which can be observed from the contour plot.


The addition of a frustum-like dielectric geometry on top of the GNRs-SiO2-Au structure yields a broadband absorption response, which is discussed in the next section. Finally, the effect of structural parameters such as dielectric thickness and Fermi energy on the absorption spectrum is investigated.

Schematic of Terahertz Metamaterial Absorber

Next, we investigated the fundamental effect of detached graphene nanoribbons to tune the absorption response by varying the Fermi energy. The absorption response can be tuned by adjusting the Fermi energy or electrochemical potential using bias gate voltage.

Numerical Simulations

Role of graphene nanoribbons and dielectric spacer in broadband ab-

Tunable broadband absorption with dielectric metamaterial structures . 98

37] Stringer, M., et al., Analysis of human cortical bone by time-domain terahertz spectroscopy. 45] Williams, C.R., et al., Highly confined guidance of terahertz surface plasmon polaritons on structured metallic surfaces. 68] Kumar, G., et al., Terahertz surface plasmon waveguide based on one-dimensional array of silicon pillars.


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