Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physics - (M.S.)

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Federici, John Francis

Second Advisor

Gatley, Ian

Third Advisor

Grebel, Haim

Abstract

As the application of the Terahertz (THz) band (0.1 - 10 THz) is investigated in various settings, wireless communication stands out as an important frontier to explore. The benefits of increased bandwidth and data rates it promises will only be realized if new technology is developed to support it. Specifically, since THz wireless communication links are typically line-of-sight (LoS), the LoS can be blocked by moving obstacles, thereby requiring alternative link paths. One proposed solution for indoor wireless communications involves systems of steerable antennas, reflective "wallpaper", and steerable mirrors which would redirect THz beams around a blocking obstacle.

As an initial step in developing steerable mirrors for THz wireless systems, this thesis describes the development of a passive planar terahertz retroreflector based on the Van Atta array. The retroreflector is optimized and simulated using FEM software, fabricated via a low-cost additive manufacturing method, and characterized using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy. Comparison to a flat metal plate shows an increase in monostatic RCS for off-normal angles of incidence.

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