About us

About us

Overview

TeraApps (Doctoral Training Network in Terahertz Technologies for Imaging, Radar and Communication  Applications) is an innovate programme providing a unique research training opportunity for a cohort of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in the novel and multidisciplinary field of semiconductor terahertz technologies. The TeraApps project offers strategic training opportunities with exceptional prospects for career development in both academia and industry and a potential of dramatic impact on the imaging, radar, communications and sensing application areas for our increasingly connected and smart world.

TeraApps is a four-year Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network funded by the European Commission. The network is comprised of 10 internationally reputed academic and industrial Partners and 17 Partner Organisations.

Aims

The mission of TeraApps is to train the pool of Early Stage Researchers (ESR) in the design, fabrication, characterization and systems utilization of terahertz sources and detectors based mainly on Resonant Tunnelling Diode (RTD) semiconductor technology, but also on emerging novel technologies including 2D materials, and their deployment in typical applications areas such as imaging, short range wireless communications, radar and sensing. To this end, TeraApps brings together world-leading experts with key complementary skills in a multidisciplinary scientific consortium.

Training

TeraApps will provide the cohort of 15 ESRs with high quality research training opportunities, supplemented with formal training courses in the relevant fields and a wide variety of complementary training courses, colloquia and seminars. The scientific training will be carried out through well-defined work-packages, based on four key themes of semiconductor terahertz technology systems. Substantial mobility within the network will expose young researchers to complementary academic and industrial environments. By integrating the complementary, multidisciplinary, as well as inter-sectorial expertise of the partners, supplemented by those of the visiting scientists and the secondments to the full and associate partners, TeraApps will train future research leaders and contribute to strengthening Europe’s human resources and industry competitiveness in the ever-growing field of terahertz electronics and opto-electronics.

ESR projects

ESR 5 Displacement current in quantum devices at THz frequencies

Displacement current in quantum devices at THz frequencies

 

Our main research activity is based on the study of quantum electron devices with nanoscale dimensions working at THz frequencies. Our research activity covers a wide spectrum, from foundational physics till practical engineering.

 

Within this innovative training TeraApps network, our first goal is giving support to other experimental partners mainly by simulating, designing and modelling Resonant tunneling diodes. We have developed a unique simulation tool, based on time-dependent quantum Monte Carlo simulations using quantum trajectories, especially suited for engineering interpretation of quantum transport at THz frequencies. The outcome of our research activity is expected to be the comparison of experimental results with our simulated data to help in analyzing and understanding the link between quantum physical interpretation and circuit engineering models of THz devices.

 

The second goal of our research activity is proposing new electron devices, based on displacement current, working at the boundary between electronic and electromagnetic technologies. We argue that at THz frequencies the manipulation of information in nanoscale devices can be performed usign the displacement current, instead of the usual electron dynamics (ransport of energy without transit of charge). We argue that such new type of devices will offer important practical advantages such elimination of joule effects-related phenomena and improvement in device’s speed.


ESR 11 Development of Room-Temperature Terahertz Nano-Detectors

Development of Room-Temperature Terahertz Nano-Detectors

 

Brief overview and description:

One-dimensional (1D) nanostructure devices are at the frontline of studies on future electronics, although issues like massive parallelization, doping control, surface effects, and compatibility with silicon industrial requirements are still open challenges.

The recent progresses in atomic to nanometer scale control of materials morphology, size, and composition including the growth of axial, radial, and branched nanowire (NW)-based heterostructures make the NW an ideal building block for implementing rectifying diodes or detectors that could be well operated into the Terahertz (THz), thanks to their typical achievable attofarad-order capacitance.

 

Semiconductor nanowire field effect transistors (NW-FETs) as plasma wave or thermoelectric THz detectors will be developed during the project. Here, InAs, InSb or heterostructured InAs/InSb nanowires will be used as active channel material to design an array of 1D NW-FETs exploiting low effective mass and high mobilities materials, as well as direct coupling of the oscillating radiation field to one longitudinal plasmon mode. This work will also include the design and realisation of novel 2D material based multi-grating-gate FET structures with asymmetric unit cells to achieve plasmonic THz detection.

 

Research objectives:

1) Development of semiconductor (InAs, InSb and InAs/InAs) 1D nanowire field effect transistors (FETs) as plasma wave or thermoelectric THz detectors;

2) Development of THz plasmonic detectors based on new layered materials

 

Research skills and techniques:

  • Training in specific new areas, or technical expertise etc:

- Nanofabrication trainings:

  1. Cleanroom
  2. Elctron beam lithography
  3. Scanning electron microscopy
  4. Reactive ion etching
  5. Thermal evaporation
  6. Optical lithography
  7. Wet chemical etching
  8. Atomic layer deposition

 

- THz photonics:

  1. Fourier traform infrared spectroscopy
  2. Time domain spectroscopy
  3. Transport and optical tests

 

Expected Results:

1) NW FET responsivities > 100V/W; noise equivalent power <10-10W/√Hz, detectivities < 108cm√Hz/W; bandwidth 0.3 – 2 THz.

2) Plasmonic detectors, 1-4 THz range, increased detectivity (few orders of magnitude)


ESR 15 Terahertz metrology for on wafer S-parameters measurements

Terahertz metrology for on wafer S-parameters measurements

For over two decades, mm-wave electronics has been a worldwide research subject. Numerous applications are being developed in this frequency range, and several are starting to be commercialized, including non-destructive testing, automotive radars, and wide bandwidth wireless. The E-band frequencies (60 - 90GHz) are already being widely used by the industry. At higher frequencies, however, applications are still limited, mainly because it remains difficult to develop direct sources and detectors for terahertz radiation. Low power and high uncertainty in the measurements done to characterize circuits prevents for realizing more complex designs, which could in fact be applicable in many new fields (e.g. medical, tomography...).

It is in this regard that the raw performance of the measurement systems becomes as important as the calibration process to assure repeatable and accurate modeling of those device behavior. On wafer S-parameters measurements over 110GHz suffer from a lack of traceability. This is due to the growth of influencing factors, in number and magnitude. It is therefore important to improve and develop new calibration flows and new methods to quantify and reduce uncertainties.

The main objective of this project will be to develop better on-wafer calibration structures for S-parameters measurements up to 500GHz thanks to uncertainty quantification. With this first step, various geometries can be screened for their performance, with the aim of improving accuracy, ultimately leading to better device knowledge.