The terahertz range possesses significant untapped potential for applications including high-volume wireless communications, noninvasive medical imaging, sensing, and safe security screening. However, due to the unique characteristics and constraints of terahertz waves, the vast majority of these applications are entirely dependent upon the availability of beam control techniques. Thus, the development of advanced terahertz-range beam control techniques yields a range of useful and unparalleled applications. This article provides an overview and tutorial on terahertz beam control. The underlying principles of wavefront engineering include array antenna theory and diffraction optics, which are drawn from the neighboring microwave and optical regimes, respectively. As both principles are applicable across the electromagnetic spectrum, they are reconciled in this overview. This provides a useful foundation for investigations into beam control in the terahertz range, which lies between microwaves and infrared light. Thereafter, noteworthy experimental demonstrations of beam control in the terahertz range are discussed, and these include geometric optics, phased array devices, leaky-wave antennas, reflectarrays, and transmitarrays. These techniques are compared and contrasted for their suitability in applications of terahertz waves.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Computer Networks and Communications