Advances in terahertz communications accelerated by photonics

Nature Photonics Review by Dr Cyril Renaud, Assistant CDT Director

Dr Cyril Renaud (UCL Photonics Group) his one of the co-authors of an invited review in the current issue (31st May 2016) of the high impact factor journal, Nature Photonics - citation Nature Photonics 10, 371-379 (2016) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2016.65).

The review invitation came to mark the 15 year anniversary of the initial demonstrations of terahertz (THz) wireless communications. Today, as the work developed by the UCL led consortium of the EPSRC funded programme grant COTS demonstrates, THz technologies are attracting great interest and are expected to meet the ever-increasing demand for high-capacity wireless communications.

In the paper, Professor Nagatsuma (Osaka University), Dr Ducournau (Université de Lille) and Dr Renaud review the latest trends in THz communications research, focusing on how photonics technologies have played a key role in the development of first-age THz communication systems. They also provide a comparison with other competitive technologies, such as THz transceivers enabled by electronic devices as well as free-space lightwave communications and consider future prospects and challenges for the deployment of a THz based wireless communication technology.

Dr Renaud is currently working on optoelectronic devices and systems in the Ultra-Fast Photonics Laboratory at UCL EEE. He is currently leading research on uncooled WDM sources, agile tuneable laser diode and monolithic optical frequency comb generator using Quantum Confined Stark Effect, high frequency photodetectors (UTC, travelling wave), photonic integrated circuits and optical frequency generation systems in the optical and millimetre wave domains (DWDM, THZ). He is an investigator on the £6.5m EPSRC Coherent Terahertz Systems (COTS) Programme Grant to create coherent terahertz systems with applications ranging from security to future quantum computers. For more information about COTS see EPSRC Grants on the Web and For more information about the THz region see ‘The Last Frontier of the Electromagnetic Spectrum’ video:

Cyril C. Renaud received the degree of engineering from the Ecole Supérieure d’Optique, Orsay, France, and the Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies (D.E.A.) in Optics and Photonics from the University Paris XI, Orsay, France, in 1996. He then spent one year as a project engineer with Sfim-ODS, working on the development of microchips lasers and portable range finders. He, then, joined the Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton UK, in 1998, to work on diode pumped high-power ytterbium-doped fibre-lasers, with particular interest on Q-switched system and 980-nm generation. This work led to the award of a PhD in 2001. He is currently a Reader in Photonics at University College london, and the UCL site director for the UCL/Cambridge Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems. His work has led to over 120 publications in international peer reviewed journals and conferences, attracting over 1250 citations and 3 patents.