Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Nezih Pala

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Sakhrat Khizroev

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Irene Calizo

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jessica Ramella-Roman

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Terahertz, Emitters, Nonlinear Optics, Difference Frequency Generation

Date of Defense



The Terahertz (1012 Hz) region of the electromagnetic spectrum covers the frequency range from roughly 300 GHz to 10 THz, which is in between the microwave and infrared regimes. The increasing interest in the development of ultra-compact, tunable room temperature Terahertz (THz) emitters with wide-range tunability has stimulated in-depth studies of different mechanisms of THz generation in the past decade due to its various potential applications such as biomedical diagnosis, security screening, chemical identification, life sciences and very high speed wireless communication. Despite the tremendous research and development efforts, all the available state-of-the-art THz emitters suffer from either being large, complex and costly, or operating at low temperatures, lacking tunability, having a very short spectral range and a low output power. Hence, the major objective of this research was to develop simple, inexpensive, compact, room temperature THz sources with wide-range tunability.

We investigated THz radiation in a hybrid optical and THz micro-ring resonators system. For the first time, we were able to satisfy the DFG phase matching condition for the above-mentioned THz range in one single device geometry by employing a modal phase matching technique and using two separately designed resonators capable of oscillating at input optical waves and generated THz waves. In chapter 6, we proposed a novel plasmonic antenna geometry – the dimer rod-tapered antenna (DRTA), where we created a hot-spot in the nanogap between the dimer arms with a very large intensity enhancement of 4.1×105 at optical resonant wavelength. Then, we investigated DFG operation in the antenna geometry by incorporating a nonlinear nanodot in the hot-spot of the antenna and achieved continuously tunable enhanced THz radiation across 0.5-10 THz range. In chapter 8, we designed a multi-metallic resonators providing an ultrasharp toroidal response at THz frequency, then fabricated and experimentally demonstrated an efficient polarization dependent plasmonic toroid switch operating at THz frequency.

In summary, we have successfully designed, analytically and numerically investigated novel THz emitters with the advantages of wide range tunability, compactness, room temperature operation, fast modulation and the possibility for monolithic integration, which are the most sought after properties in the new generation THz sources.





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