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Jet-based Photonic Crystals for Terahertz Technology – A Need for Higher Resolution

  • Jin Li (a1), Thomas M. Horgan (a2), Andrew J. Gatesman (a2), Robert H. Giles (a2), Aram S. Karakashian (a1) and William D. Goodhue (a1)...

Abstract

Two-dimensional hexagonal photonic crystals of air columns in a wax substrate were fabricated by jet-based methods. By modifying the structure of the photonic crystals (PC), electromagnetic waves can be controlled, enabling the design of novel devices for waveguides, filters, and couplers. The jet-based processing is a solid freeforming method that can fabricate complex 2D or 3D photonic structures quickly and easily as compared to micro-machining and lithographic methods. The resolution of our 3D Systems ThermoJet® solider object printer is 300 × 400 × 600 dpi (XYZ) with the layer thickness of 0.042 mm. The wax used is a thermopolymer build material, similar to production investment casting wax material. The periodicity of the lattice of our 2D PC structures was designed to form bandstop filters in the 0.1–0.3 THz range. Transmission spectra of the structures were measured with a Bruker IFS 66v FT-IR interferometer. Photonic band gaps were observed at 0.17 THz and 0.23 THz along the Γ-M direction for both the TM and TE polarized incident beam for the PC structures with lattice constant of 0.787 mm and 0.586 mm, respectively. The location and width of the bandgaps agree with theoretical calculation based on a block-iterative frequency-domain method for Maxwell's equations in a planewave basis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a jet-based process has been used successfully to fabricate PC structures at these high frequencies. However, the ThermoJet® printer as well as other current available solid freeforming technologies lack the resolution to PC structures operating in the terahertz regime. To extend this technology to terahertz applications, such as terahertz lasers, waveguides, and imaging system, a 10-fold increase in machine resolution is required to produce finer structures. Engineering materials with lower electromagnetic absorption and higher dielectric constants at terahertz frequencies are also critical to developing THz photonic bandgap technology.

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Jet-based Photonic Crystals for Terahertz Technology – A Need for Higher Resolution

  • Jin Li (a1), Thomas M. Horgan (a2), Andrew J. Gatesman (a2), Robert H. Giles (a2), Aram S. Karakashian (a1) and William D. Goodhue (a1)...

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