To meet the ever increasing demands of Information Technology, the development of terahertz (THz) transmission and interface technology is expected to bring about on-chip convergence of optical communication and digital computing in the future-generation VLSI chips. The proposed research envisages studying Plasmon propagation through meta-material structures with periodic array of grooves in order to develop THz switch/waveguide technology which may enhance the computational capabilities in the Beyond-Moore's-Law (BML) era when charge-based CMOS transistors cannot be scaled down anymore.
The proposed research involving EM theory, photonics, SPICE circuit simulation, and numerical analysis, encompasses several ideas that define its core intellectual merits. For example, new spoof surface Plasmon polar ton (SSPP) transport mechanism may enable THz signal propagation on global interconnect, dispersion engineering will develop dynamically-controlled SSPP tri-state buses by fine tuning materials to modulate their refractive index, and compact SSPP wave-guide-cavity-waveguide structures may lead to THz digital and mixed-signal circuits. Theoretical modeling and simulation methods to be developed in this project in conjunction with concomitant on-going research in new materials may potentially lead to the design of THz computing, ultrafast Boolean logic circuitry, and biological sensor networks. Furthermore, the proposed dynamically-controlled SSPP waveguide capable of transmitting information at THz speed can potentially be adopted to solve the ?communication bottleneck? problem in future multicore VLSI chips.
The educational objectives of this research project will involve interdisciplinary training for undergraduate and graduate students, thereby enabling them to meet the challenges of electronic, photonic and computer product design in a fiercely competitive global market. Promotion of women and minority students in the doctoral degree program in electrical and computer engineering will be given high priority in this research to fulfill its education and societal objectives. The PI will develop computer animation and colorful images for K-12 students in local schools thereby stimulating their interest in Science and Engineering. The audio visuals, instruction materials, and laboratory courseware will be made available to other universities through the Internet and will be uploaded at the Nano Hub website.