Terahertz Photonics for Communications, Space, Security, Radio-Astronomy, and Material Science

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Research Challenges

What are the fundamental limits for optical-to-THz power conversion, frequency tunability, and phase stability? How do they depend on wavelength, material choices and what are optimum approaches to measure optical-to-THz conversion efficiency?

Could one build a (scalable) coherent array of photonic emitters/detectors for phase & amplitude control, to enable the synthesis of directionally controlled high-power multi-frequency THz signals? And if so – to what extent can we control the spatial and temporal characteristics (amplitude, phase, directionality, directivity, polarization, etc.) of such a radiated multi-frequency THz wavefront?

What are the fundamental limits to optically mediated THz mixing and detection, as measured by metrics such as NEP, noise figure, conversion efficiency, within an appropriate bandwidth for communication? More generally, what is the achievable SNR for a specific architecture?

How do we design materials (or metamaterials) to approach the fundamental limits on functionality to enable ultra-low-loss waveguides and impedance-matched interconnects as well as planar on-chip THz antennas?

Develop integrated THz photonic solutions and verify if it is better to do the following in the optical domain or the THz domain? Synchronization, modulation, phase & amplitude control, polarization control, multiplexing, interconnection, amplification – and why? What metrics determine the answers in each case?

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