First data transmission through terahertz multiplexer: 100 times faster than today's best

ScienceDaily | 8/10/2017 | Staff
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In the journal Nature Communications, the researchers report the transmission of two real-time video signals through a terahertz multiplexer at an aggregate data rate of 50 gigabits per second, approximately 100 times the optimal data rate of today's fastest cellular network.

"We showed that we can transmit separate data streams on terahertz waves at very high speeds and with very low error rates," said Daniel Mittleman, a professor in Brown's School of Engineering and the paper's corresponding author. "This is the first time anybody has characterized a terahertz multiplexing system using actual data, and our results show that our approach could be viable in future terahertz wireless networks."

Voice - Data - Networks - Microwaves - Signals

Current voice and data networks use microwaves to carry signals wirelessly. But the demand for data transmission is quickly becoming more than microwave networks can handle. Terahertz waves have higher frequencies than microwaves and therefore a much larger capacity to carry data. However, scientists have only just begun experimenting with terahertz frequencies, and many of the basic components necessary for terahertz communication don't exist yet.

A system for multiplexing and demultiplexing (also known as mux/demux) is one of those basic components. It's the technology that allows one cable to carry multiple TV channels or hundreds of users to access a wireless Wi-Fi network.

Mux/demux - Approach - Mittleman - Colleagues - Metal

The mux/demux approach Mittleman and his colleagues developed uses two metal plates placed parallel to each other to form a waveguide. One of the plates has a slit cut into it. When terahertz waves travel through the waveguide, some of the radiation leaks out of the slit. The angle at which radiation beams escape is dependent upon the frequency of the wave.

"We can put several waves at several different frequencies -- each of them carrying a data stream -- into the waveguide, and they won't interfere with each other because they're different frequencies;...
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