Technology - Phase Modulator for Encoding Terahertz Band Communication

Phase Modulator for Encoding Terahertz Band Communication

This graphene-based modulator can embed noise-free information into terahertz band signals that offer higher wireless data rates.


In order to continue the exponential rise in wireless data rates, terabit-per-second links are expected to become a reality within the next five years.  The exploration of higher frequency bands, specifically the Terahertz band, is needed to supply exceptionally large transmission bandwidths.  To accompany the creation of THz sources, detectors, and antennas; modulators are needed to embed information on the transmitted signal.

Technology Overview:

A graphene-based phase modulator for THz communication has been designed.  The modulator is based on a fixed-length graphene-based plasmonic waveguide and leverages the possibility to tune the propagation speed of surface plasmon polariton (SPP) waves.  The modulating signal is applied as a bias voltage to the graphene layer and controls its Fermi energy.  The resulting signal can be further propagated and eventually radiated in free-space by means of plasmonic nano-antenna.  This technology enables practical wireless communication systems in the THz band.


Phase modulation is more noise resistant than amplitude and frequency modulation.  Propagation speed is easily controlled by modifying chemical potential of the graphene layer.  Modulation depth is increased compared to previous graphene-based modulators creating a lower symbol error rate (SER).  The current device can comfortably modulate the signals at least at 10% of their carrier frequency, up to 33% of their carrier frequency.  For example, for a 1 THz system, we can modulate at least at 100 GHz and up to 300 GHz approx.


Wireless communication: 6G, HetNets, Autonomous vehicles

Intellectual Property Summary:

US Patent 10,996,379 Issued May 4, 2021

Stage of Development:


Licensing Status:

Not licensed.

Licensing Potential:

Available for license or collaboration.

Patent Information: