Investigation of Terahertz Antenna Designs for 6G Communications

Project: Research

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Terahertz technology will be one of necessary components of the next IT revolution. This high frequency band (0.1 to 10 THz) produces unique features of ultrawide bandwidths, ultrafast data rates, ultradense networks, and massively secure connectivity. Recently, InternationalTelecommunication Union (ITU) identifies the terahertz frequencies of 0.275 to 0.450 THz for future wireless communications, in particular to the sixth generation of mobile communications(6G) and its service. Global ICT leaders have already started to explore the technical feasibility in the effective use of terahertz wave for future communication network. The terahertz market is expected to reach 3.5 billion USD by 2029 with a compound annual growth rate of 27% from 2020 to 2029. Several ingrained challenges, however, have still to be tackled to attain the full potential of terahertz communications. For example, terahertz propagation is highly lossy in the atmosphere, which bounds the communication distances; and the fabrication process of terahertz devices is very costly due to the use of highly-precise micro-and-nano fabrications. Scientists and engineers are looking for high-efficient and low-cost terahertz antenna solutions for tackling these major obstacles for terahertz communications. In this research project, we aim to investigate novel designs of terahertz antennae to tackle the bottleneck for terahertz communications by introducing high-gain, wideband, beamforming and cost-effective antenna solutions for such high-frequency applications. Our devoted antenna technologies will support the needs of emerging and future wireless systems such as 6G and beyond. Three identified research objectives will be investigated. Firstly, we will investigate a wideband and highly-efficient planar antenna array for directive beam radiation at terahertz frequencies. The solution by using a layer of metallic laminate as a transition between an air waveguide and a distributed antenna element finds significant gain enhancement in the planar structure of terahertz array. Secondly, a wideband terahertz probe by integrating a magneto-electric dipole with a waveguide horn antenna will be carried out. This invention of terahertz probe provides an excellent radiation source over its wide operating bandwidth for developing high-gain reflect arrays at terahertz bands. Finally, an active-beamforming reflect array by the composite of reconfigurable meta atoms which are formed by functional materials of GeTe will be demonstrated. The approach of using optical activations to control the states of meta atoms finds effectively produce coding patterns on the metasurface of the reflectarray to manipulate direction of reflected beam radiations. The outputs of this project will deliver the state-of-the-art high-frequency antenna solutions for terahertz technology to support existing and future communication systems, and will benefit academic and industrial communities in Hong Kong, the greater bay area and across the globe. 


Project number9043151
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/22 → …