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Control of enhanced THz transmission through metallic hole arrays using nematic liquid crystal

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We demonstrate frequency tuning of enhanced THz radiation transmitted through a two-dimensional metallic hole array (2D-MHA) by controlling the index of refraction of the medium filling the holes and adjacent to the 2D-MHA on one side. The medium is a nematic liquid crystal (NLC) and its index of refraction is varied using magnetically controlled birefringence of the NLC. With the NLC, the peak transmission frequency of the 2D-MHA shift to the red by 0.112 THz and can be tuned from 0.193 to 0.188 THz. The peak transmittance is as high as 70% or an enhancement of 2.42 times, considering the porosity of the 2D-MHA. As a tunable THz filter, this device exhibits a continuous tuning range of 4.7 GHz, a low insertion loss of 2.35 to 1.55 dB and a quality factor of ~4–5.

©2005 Optical Society of America

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Figures (6)

Fig.1. Experimental setup. The inset shows construction of the 2D-MHA with a nematic liquid crystal, (NLC) 5CB infiltrated and as the substrate on one side.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Transmittance of the 2D-MHA sample before machining (thickness t=0.5 mm, black trace), after machining into a box-line structure (t=0.35 mm, red trace), boxed MHA with front and back Mylar sheets attached (blue trace), LC-filled MHA for o-ray (purple trace) and LC-filled MHA for e-ray (green trace).
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. The transmitted THz temporal waveforms of the tunable 2D-MHA sample with the 5CB layer aligned at several magnetic inclination angles θ (θ=0°, 15°, 30°, 45° and 55°) to the polarization direction of the THz wave. The relative time delay is clearly shown in the inset. The waveform of the incident or reference THz pulse (reduced by a factor of four) is also shown.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. A close-up of the power spectra of THz signals transmitted through this device at various magnetic inclination angles.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 5. The experimentally observed shift of the peak frequencies from Fig. 3(a) and the theoretical estimates are plotted as a function of the inverse of the effective index of refraction.
Fig.6. The peak transmittance of the 2D-MHA is plotted as a function of the inverse of the effective index of refraction of the LC.

Equations (3)

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ν R = ν spp = k in + G c o 2 π ε m + ε d ε m ε d ,
ν R = ν spp ν diff n d ,
n d = { [ sin 2 ( θ ) n o 2 + cos 2 ( θ ) n e 2 ] 1 2 } ,


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