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Authors: D. Maes, E. Pytavit, B. Kuyken, S. Lemey
Title: Terahertz Communication: A Story of Bandwidth and Silicon Photonic Integration
Format: National Conference Poster
Publication date: Accepted for publication. Not yet published
Journal/Conference/Book: Faculty of Engineering and Architecture Research Symposium (FEARS)
Location: Gent, Belgium
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7399785
Citations: Look up on Google Scholar


The need for faster wireless data is ever-increasing. This puts pressure on the radio spectrum as most sub-6 GHz bands are already congested. Moving to higher bands, in the mmWave and Terahertz (THz) spectrum, unlocks large ranges of bandwidth. At these THz frequencies, however, high-gain directive beams are needed to compensate higher path loss. Phased Antenna Arrays (PAA) provide this gain but need efficient beamforming feeding networks. In contrast to all-electrical approaches, an optical beamforming network (OBFN) is able to scale to large planar arrays. This is thanks to its small-footprint – as the radio signals are modulated on an optical carrier with a much smaller waveguide - and low-loss waveguides in Silicon Photonic (SiPh) platforms - feeding every individual antenna element. Generating THz signals is then only limited by the efficiency of the photomixer, i.e. a photodetector that converts the beat note of two optical signals to a THz signal. To this end, we have integrated a photodiode with a bandwidth of 155 GHz on a Silicon Nitride (SiN) waveguide and demonstrated its capabilities in a back-to-back THz link at 280 GHz. Doing so, we achieved data rates beyond 100 Gbit/s.

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