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Proceedings Paper

Diffraction optics for terahertz waves
Author(s): James C. Wiltse
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Paper Abstract

Conventional lenses are important components for many terahertz applications, but ordinary lenses are very difficult to fabricate for short-focal lengths. Multi-level phase-corrected zoned lens antennas have been investigated with particular application at terahertz wavelengths. These zoned lenses (or diffractive optics) give better performance than ordinary lenses, and because of their planar construction are easier and cheaper to fabricate. The depths of cut needed for a grooved zone plate are quite small, even when materials with low dielectric constants are used. Zoned lenses have been built and tested at various frequencies from 100 GHz to 1.5 THz, with phase correction levels of half-wave, quarter-wave, or eighth-wavelength. The inherent losses in transparent materials increase monotonically over this frequency range. Typical low-loss materials include polystyrene, polyethylene, Teflon, polycarbonate, polystyrene foam, foamed polyethylene, low density polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), TPX, quartz, sapphire, and silicon. Low dielectric-constant materials are normally preferred to reduce reflection and attenuation losses. Techniques for cutting or milling the materials to small dimensions are important, because at 1.0 THz an eighth-wavelength correction for silicon is only 15 μm. Another characteristic of zoned diffraction optics is their frequency behavior. Previous investigations have considered their bandwidth dependence and quasi-periodic extended frequency response for a specified focal length. As frequency changes, the focal point moves along the axis of the zoned lens. An analysis is given to explain this effect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5411, Terahertz for Military and Security Applications II, (8 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.541237
Show Author Affiliations
James C. Wiltse, Georgia Tech Research Institute (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5411:
Terahertz for Military and Security Applications II
R. Jennifer Hwu; Dwight L. Woolard, Editor(s)

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