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CORDIS

On-Chip Electronics, Photonics, Plasmonics and Antennas: A Novel Enabling Platform for sub-THz Signal Processing

Project description

Taking THz signal processing to a whole new level

As a key enabler for future-generation wireless communication systems, terahertz (THz)-band communications are in the spotlight. The THz range has tremendous untapped potential for a breadth of applications, such as next-generation wireless communications, sensing, security, medical imaging and more. The EU-funded ELEPHANT project will move away from today’s electronic–photonic platforms to create a novel integrated platform that enables flexible, low-loss THz transport and processing in the optical domain, allowing the low-loss transport of THz frequencies over large distances. The project builds on previous cutting-edge results on photonic signal processing blocks with THz bandwidths using compact (10s µm-long) silicon photonics nanowires as well as the recent demonstration of plasmonic modulators offering 500 GHz speeds, the fastest to date.

Objective

The ELEPHANT project aims at combining the best of four worlds by bringing together the fastest electronics, photonics, plasmonics and antennas to create a novel enabling technology for future THz signal processing.
The THz range has a tremendous untapped potential for a breadth of applications, as next-generation wireless communications, sensing, security, medical imaging, and more. However, efficient transport and processing of THz signals is a major challenge to this date, as at those frequencies electronic circuits are inherently limited by high dispersion and material losses. As a consequence, current approaches still rely on low-efficiency discrete components, which suffer from limited power, high losses and very high costs. While photonics allows low-loss transport of THz frequencies over large distances and broadband processing, today’s electronic-photonic platforms do not offer the required conversion speeds. Current efforts using organic materials have not proven sufficient stability and scalability.
I plan to solve the challenge of THz signal processing by creating a novel integrated THz platform that allows to convert THz signals to the optical domain efficiently and with high fidelity, and to process them using a low-loss photonic processing core with THz bandwidth.
The project fully builds on my cutting-edge results on photonic signal processing blocks with THz bandwidths using compact (10s µm-long) silicon photonics nanowires, and my recent demonstration of plasmonic modulators offering 500 GHz speeds, the fastest to date. I will create novel architectures suitable for analog processing and realize them in a scalable manner on bipolar CMOS platforms, together with THz antennas for wireless interfacing, and high-speed amplifiers to achieve the signal powers needed in real-world applications.
The new platform will impact all the crucial THz fields, and it will be put to the test by creating the first photonic-wireless THz beamforming transceiver.

Host institution

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAT BERLIN
Net EU contribution
€ 1 894 375,00
Address
STRASSE DES 17 JUNI 135
10623 Berlin
Germany

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Region
Berlin Berlin Berlin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Total cost
€ 1 894 375,00

Beneficiaries (1)