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Ultrafast & Terahertz Photonics Group

Warwick Centre for Ultrafast Spectroscopy

We are part of WCUS, a joint activity between the Physics and Chemistry Departments at the University of Warwick.

Warwick Centre for Ultrafast Spectroscopy

Recent news from WCUS


Recent publications from the group

Scalable interdigitated photoconductive emitters for the electrical modulation of terahertz beams with arbitrary linear polarization

C.D.W. Mosley, M. Staniforth, A. I. Hernandez Serrano, E. Pickwell-MacPherson and J. Lloyd-Hughes
AIP Advances 9, 045323 (Apr 2019) [ pdf ] [ ref ]

A multi-element interdigitated photoconductive emitter for broadband THz polarization rotation is proposed and experimentally verified. The device consists of separate pixels for the emission of horizontally and vertically polarized THz radiation. The broadband (0.3–5.0 THz) nature of the device is demonstrated, and the polarization angle of the generated far-field THz radiation is shown to be readily controlled by varying the relative bias voltage applied to the horizontally and vertically emitting pixels. The device is scalable in design, and with its simple method of polarization rotation it allows the modulation of the generated THz polarization at rates significantly faster than those achievable in ellipsometry systems based on mechanically rotating components.

Fri 26 Apr 2019, 19:08 | Tags: THz components, MacPherson, Lloyd-Hughes, 2019

Design and fabrication of 3-D printed conductive polymer structures for THz polarization control

A.I. Hernandez-Serrano, Q. Sun, E.G. Bishop, E.R. Griffiths, C.P. Purssel, S.J. Leigh, J. Lloyd-Hughes and E. Pickwell-MacPherson
Optics Express 27 8 11635 (April 2019) [ pdf ] [ ref ]


In this paper, we numerically and experimentally demonstrate the inverse polarization effect in three-dimensional (3-D) printed polarizers for the frequency range of 0.5 - 2.7 THz. The polarizers simply consist of 3-D printed strip lines of conductive polylactic acid (CPLA, Proto-Pasta) and do not require a substrate or any further metallic deposition. The experimental and numerical results show that the proposed structure acts as a broadband polarizer between the range of 0.3 THz to 2.7 THz, in which the inverse polarization effect is clearly seen for frequencies above 0.5 THz. In the inverse polarization effect, the transmission of the transverse electric (TE) component exceeds that of the TM component, in contrast to the behavior of a typical wire-grid polarizer. We show how the performance of the polarizers depends on the spacing and thickness of the CPLA structure; extinction ratios higher than 20 dB are achieved. This is the first report using CPLA to fabricate THz polarizers, demonstrating the potential of using conductive polymers to design THz components efficiently and robustly.

Thu 11 Apr 2019, 16:40 | Tags: THz components, MacPherson, Lloyd-Hughes, 2019

Graphene controlled Brewster angle device for ultra broadband terahertz modulation

Z. Chen, X. Chen, L. Tao, K. Chen, M. Long, K. Yan, R.I. Stantchev, E. Pickwell-MacPherson & J.-B. Xu
Nature Communications 9 4909 (November 2018) [ pdf ] [ ref ]

Chen 2018

Terahertz modulators with high tunability of both intensity and phase are essential for effective control of electromagnetic properties. Due to the underlying physics behind existing approaches there is still a lack of broadband devices able to achieve deep modulation. Here, we demonstrate the effect of tunable Brewster angle controlled by graphene, and develop a highly-tunable solid-state graphene/quartz modulator based on this mechanism. The Brewster angle of the device can be tuned by varying the conductivity of the graphene through an electrical gate. In this way, we achieve near perfect intensity modulation with spectrally flat modulation depth of 99.3 to 99.9 percent and phase tunability of up to 140 degree in the frequency range from 0.5 to 1.6 THz. Different from using electromagnetic resonance effects (for example, metamaterials), this principle ensures that our device can operate in ultra-broadband. Thus it is an effective principle for terahertz modulation.

Thu 29 Nov 2018, 07:41 | Tags: THz components, 2018, nanomaterials, MacPherson

Highly Sensitive Terahertz Thin-Film Total Internal Reflection Spectroscopy Reveals in Situ Photoinduced Structural Changes in Methylammonium Lead Halide Perovskites

Q. Sun, X. Liu, J. Cao, R.I. Stantchev, Y. Zhou, X. Chen, E.P.J. Parrott, J. Lloyd-Hughes, N. Zhao, and E. Pickwell-MacPherson
J. Phys. Chem. C 122 17552 (June 2018) [ pdf ] [ ref ]

Sun 2018

Terahertz (THz) thin-film total internal reflection (TF-TIR) spectroscopy is shown to have an enhanced sensitivity to the vibrational properties of thin films in comparison with standard THz transmission spectroscopy. This increased sensitivity was used to track photoinduced modifications to the structure of thin films of methylammonium (MA) lead halide, MAPbI3–xBrx (x = 0, 0.5, 1, and 3). Initially, illumination strengthened the phonon modes around 2 THz, associated with Pb–I stretch modes coupled to the MA ions, whereas the 1 THz twist modes of the inorganic octahedra did not alter in strength. Under longer term illumination, the 1 THz phonon modes of encapsulated films slowly reduced in strength, whereas in films exposed to moisture and oxygen, these phonons weaken more rapidly and blue-shift in frequency. The rapid monitoring of environmentally induced changes to the vibrational modes afforded by TF-TIR spectroscopy offers applications in the characterization and quality control of the perovskite thin-film solar cells and other thin-film semiconductors.

Mon 06 Aug 2018, 13:51 | Tags: THz spectroscopy, 2018, MacPherson, perovskites, Lloyd-Hughes