RF and THz Photonics
Electromagnetic waves span "DC to daylight." In the THz portion of the spectrum, electromagnetic waves possess unique properties that combine attributes of photonics and microwave electronics. THz waves can be generated from intense sub-picosecond optical pulses or through other means, such as the mixing of multiple optical waves. THz technologies are of great interest for their promise of futuristic imaging, sensing and spectroscopic capabilities. At even larger wavelengths, in the microwave domain, signal generation and signal processing can utilize low-noise, high-precision envelopes of photonic carrier waves in photonic integrated circuits and high-speed photonic detectors can serve as RF-photonic mixers. Even further along the electromagnetic wavelength scale, high-power radars and 5G transceivers can also exploit similar RF-photonic technologies leveraging photonic waves. UC Davis researchers are actively engaged in bringing photonic technologies to the THz and to the RF domains.