Free-space transmission of terahertz waves opens great opportunities for wireless applications including communications and radar, enabling higher information capacity, higher spatial resolution, and yet smaller apertures than using microwaves. Nevertheless, due to the shorter wavelengths, it involves a severe path loss. To compensate for the path loss, point-to-point transmission by beam steering is indispensable. However, the implementation of broadband and low-loss beam steering is still challenging in the terahertz range due mainly to the lack of practical phase shifters. To circumvent this issue, here we demonstrate a novel approach of terahertz beam steering based on trajectory deflection in a dielectric-free Luneburg lens. It converts a point excitation into a deflected beam in the fundamental transverse electric mode inside parallel conducting plates based on graded effective refractive index, which is then launched into free-space. The absence of dielectric medium contributes to reduce the insertion loss and also enables external control of the effective refractive index. Importantly, this approach is assisted by angular leverage; a very little change of the plate tilt results in very large deflection of the beam trajectory. We demonstrate beam steering from -25° to +25° by changing the plate tilt from -25′ to +25′ (-0.42° to +0.42°), which is transferred to the 60 times larger angles. Such a small tilt can easily be generated, for example, by using piezo or MEMS actuators. Since the excitation point can be fixed, the proposed device can easily be coupled to a wide range of chip sources and detectors, offering waveguide integration. As an application example, we implement high-resolution radar that identifies both the direction and range toward an object.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology|
|Publication status||Published - 2020 May 1|
- Beam steering
- Luneburg lens
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering