Terahertz Modulation Employing ZnO Quantum Dots and Hexagonal Shaped Metamaterials




Vazquez-Colon, Clarissa D.

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Materials characterization in the terahertz (THz) regime has been of interest for several years due to the relatively sparse availability of THz generation and detection devices. The development of devices in this region of the electromagnetic spectrum could lead to groundbreaking applications in security, communications, and healthcare, among others. Additionally, THz radiation is non-ionizing, thus human exposure to THz signals is not considered to be harmful. Nowadays technology is mainly developed in the microwave and infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, leaving a gap in the THz region (~0.1 THz – 1 THz) in which the performance of typical materials is relatively poor. For this reason, the use of metamaterials (MM) in this region has become a recent topic of research interest. MMs are man-made metallic or polymeric periodic structures, typically in the micrometer scale, capable of exhibiting tailored electromagnetic properties. In general, MMs can be fabricated employing conventional fabrication schemes and, for the same reason, tend to be considered rather affordable. However, the final MM product usually comprises passive devices exhibiting fixed electromagnetic properties. The demonstration of reconfigurable devices that can be actively tuned would benefit the prospective utilization of THz technology in a variety of applications. This behavior could be achieved by the incorporation of semiconducting materials and the utilization of UV-tunable quantum dots. To this end, we propose the study the performance of MM arrays at THz frequencies. The effort will also include the characterization of the electromagnetic properties of ZnO colloidal quantum dots (QDs) of two different sizes pH12 (2.12 nm) and pH10 (3.00 nm) using THz Time Domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) with and without UV excitation for the purposes of exploring possible pathways towards reconfigurable behavior.


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Metamaterials, Modulation, Quantum Dots, Terahertz, UV



Physics and Astronomy