Abstract by Ben Heiner
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Modeling the Terahertz Electric-Field Enhancement of Fractal Antenna Structure
One exciting opportunity for future electronics involves using local electric field enhancement of light at terahertz frequencies using metal meta-material structures. The amplified electric field can generate charge carriers in the underlying semiconductor, allowing electrical current to flow to act as a switch. This research can lead to the development switches functioning at terahertz frequencies, one thousand times faster than the fastest switches found in modern computers. Previous work in the Johnson Spectroscopy Lab showed that split ring resonators (SRRs) can provide local enhancement and electronic switching, but these SRRs could only resonate at one frequency. Here we consider a new structure which, incorporating a fractal-antenna design, provides local field enhancement over a much wider range of frequencies. In contrast with SRRs, these fractal antennas will allow the use of every frequency of terahertz light we generate, allowing a more complete study of the high-frequency properties of charged carriers in semiconductors.