Edge effects in propagation of terahertz radiation in subwavelength periodic structures

Research paper by B. Gelmont, R. Parthasarathy, T. Globus

Indexed on: 12 Aug '08Published on: 12 Aug '08Published in: Semiconductors


Improving detection sensitivity of biological molecules with low absorption characteristics in the terahertz gap still remains an important issue in terahertz vibrational resonance spectroscopy. One possible way to increase coupling of incident terahertz radiation to molecules is to exploit local enhancement of electromagnetic field in periodic slot arrays. In this work, we show that periodic arrays of rectangular slots with subwavelength widths provide for local electromagnetic field enhancements due to edge effects in our low frequency range of interest, 10–25 cm−1. Periodic structures of Au doped Si and InSb were studied. The half power enhancement width is ∼500 nm or less around the slot, edges in all cases, thereby possibly bringing terahertz sensing to the nanoscale. InSb is confirmed to offer the highest results with local power enhancements on the order of 1100 at frequency 14 cm−1. InSb and Si have large skin depths in our frequency range of interest and so the analysis of their structures was done through the Fourier expansion method of field diffracted from gratings. Surface impedance boundary conditions were employed to model the Au structure. The applications possibly include development of novel biosensors, and monitoring biophysical processes such as DNA denaturation.