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Proceedings Paper

Terahertz polarimetry based on metamaterial devices
Author(s): Grace D. Metcalfe; Michael Wraback; Andrew Strikwerda; Kebin Fan; Xin Zhang; Richard Averitt
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Paper Abstract

Polarimetry is a well-developed technique in radar based applications and stand-off spectroscopic analysis at optical frequencies. Extension to terahertz (THz) frequencies could provide a breakthrough in spectroscopic methods since the THz portion of the electromagnetic spectrum provides unique spectral signatures of chemicals and biological molecules, useful for filling gaps in detection and identification. Distinct advantages to a THz polarimeter include enhanced image-contrast based on differences in scattering of horizontally and vertically polarized radiation, and measurements of the dielectric response, and thereby absorption, of materials in reflection in real-time without the need of a reference measurement. To implement a prototype THz polarimeter, we have developed low profile, high efficiency metamaterial-based polarization control components at THz frequencies. Static metamaterial-based half- and quarter-wave plates operating at 0.35 THz frequencies were modeled and fabricated, and characterized using a MHz resolution, continuous-wave spectrometer operating in the 0.09 to 1.2 THz range to verify the design parameters such as operational frequency and bandwidth, insertion loss, and phase shift. The operation frequency was chosen to be in an atmospheric window (between water absorption lines) but can be designed to function at any frequency. Additional advantages of metamaterial devices include their compact size, flexibility, and fabrication ease over large areas using standard microfabrication processing. Wave plates in both the transmission and reflection mode were modeled, tested, and compared. Data analysis using Jones matrix theory showed good agreement between experimental data and simulation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8363, Terahertz Physics, Devices, and Systems VI: Advanced Applications in Industry and Defense, 83630O (9 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918654
Show Author Affiliations
Grace D. Metcalfe, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Michael Wraback, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Andrew Strikwerda, Boston Univ. (United States)
Kebin Fan, Boston Univ. (United States)
Xin Zhang, Boston Univ. (United States)
Richard Averitt, Boston Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8363:
Terahertz Physics, Devices, and Systems VI: Advanced Applications in Industry and Defense
A. F. Mehdi Anwar; Nibir K. Dhar; Thomas W. Crowe, Editor(s)

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