Prof. Sensale Receives NSF CAREER Award


December 23, 2013

Prof. Sensale

Prof. Sensale

A new ECE faculty member, Prof. Berardi Sensale Rodriguez, has received a five-year NSF CAREER Award entitled, “CAREER: THz active metamaterials employing thin-film semiconductors.”

Objective: The objective of this program is to provide a solid foundation for Prof. Sensale’s long-term research goal of developing active solid-state terahertz devices that can be employed in compact, low cost communication and imaging systems. Based on the enhanced light-matter interaction in thin-film semiconductor-based metamaterials, this proposal aims to develop devices for: a) terahertz beam steering, based on the linear properties of these materials, and b) terahertz generation via mixing and/or higher harmonic generation, based on the materials nonlinearities, thereby targeting two of the central limitations in existing terahertz technology.

Intellectual Merit: The intellectual merit is to foster the development of novel terahertz optoelectronic devices, which can form the basis for a wide range of applications. Moreover, these studies are expected to improve the current understanding about the terahertz properties of two thin-film semiconductors: vanadium dioxide and graphene, especially in terms of their non-linear properties. Since both materials can be built on arbitrary substrates, their low cost is expected to lead to market applications. Broader Impact: The broader impacts are to create some of the components necessary to make complex terahertz systems and to make these more readily available. It is expected that the developed technologies will be transformative to a broad range of scientific and application-oriented communities. Moreover, undergraduate and graduate students will be trained in the emergent fields of terahertz and nanomaterials, and they are an integral element of the designed outreach activities to disseminate the new discoveries to the general audience, school teachers and students.