Terahertz metamaterials on thin silicon nitride membranes
The terahertz (THz) region of the electromagnetic spectrum holds promise for spectroscopic imaging of illicit and hazardous materials, and chemical fingerprinting using moment of inertia vibrational transitions. Passive and active devices operating at THz frequencies are currently a challenge, and a promising emerging technology for such devices is optical metamaterials. For example, a chem/bio sensing scheme based on the sensitivity of metamaterials to their dielectric environment has been proposed but may be limited due to the large concentration of electric flux in the substrate. In addition, there is an interest in fabricating 3D metamaterials, which is a challenge at these and shorter wavelengths due to fabrication constraints. In order to address both of these problems, we have developed a process to fabricate THz metamaterials on free-standing, 1 micron thick silicon nitride membranes. We will present THz transmission spectra and the corresponding simulation results for these metamaterials, comparing their performance with previously fabricated metamaterials on various thick substrates. Finally, we will present a scheme for implementing a 3D THz metamaterial based on stacking and possibly liftoff of these silicon nitride membranes. © 2008 Materials Research Society.
Peralta, XG; Arlington, CL; Williams, JD; Strikwerda, A; Averitt, RD; Padilla, WJ; O'Hara, JF; Brener, I
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