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Super Surfaces Use Terahertz Waves to Help Bounce Wireless Communication Into the Next Generation

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The programmable surface, called a metasurface.

Princeton University researchers have created a key component toward unlocking a communications band that promises to dramatically increase the amount of data wireless systems can transmit.

Credit: Sengupta et al.

Princeton University researchers have invented a programmable "metasurface" that lets engineers control and focus incoming terahertz waves, a step toward higher data transmission rates.

The device can beam the transmissions in any desired direction, not only facilitating dynamically reconfigurable wireless networks, but also opening new high-resolution sensing and imaging technologies for next-generation robotics, cyber-physical systems, and industrial automation.

The metasurface is built with standard silicon chip elements, and features hundreds of programmable terahertz elements paired with active electronics that collectively resonate with the structure. This enables geometric adjustments at several billions of times per second, splitting an incoming terahertz beam up into multiple dynamic, directable beams that can maintain line-of-sight with receivers.

Brown University's Daniel Mittleman said, "The key takeaway is that we are now getting a handle on practical methods for actively controlling the wave front, beam size, beam direction, and other features of terahertz beams."

Fr0m Princeton University
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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