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Justin Crabb’s PhD Proposal Review

September 22, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

“Multiphysics Simulation of Graphene Transistors for On-Chip Plasmonic THz Signal Generation and Modulation”


Terahertz communication is envisioned as a key technology not only for the next generation of macro-scale networks (e.g., 6G+), but also for transformative networking applications at the nanoscale (e.g., wireless nanosensor networks and wireless networks on chip). This proposal focuses on the development of a multiphysics simulation platform for a plasmonic THz nanogenerator with on-chip modulation. The in-house developed finite-element-method platform, which self-consistently solves the hydrodynamic and Maxwell’s equations, is utilized to provide extensive numerical results demonstrating the device’s functionality along with ultra-wide bandwidth and high modulation index capabilities.

First, a comprehensive theory of the Dyakonov-Shur (DS) plasma instability in current-biased graphene transistors is presented. Using the hydrodynamic approach, equations describing the DS instability in the two-dimensional electron fluid in graphene at arbitrary values of electron drift velocity are derived. These non-linear equations together with Maxwell’s equations are used for numerical analysis of the spatial and temporal evolution of the graphene electron system after the DS instability is triggered by random current fluctuations. Conditions necessary for the onset of the DS instability and the properties of the final stationary state of the graphene electron system are analyzed.

Next, a detailed numerical analysis of the DS plasma instability in the DC current-biased graphene transistor with the gate shifted with respect to the middle of the transistor conducting channel is presented. The geometric asymmetry is shown to be sufficient to trigger the DS instability in the two-dimensional electron gas in the transistor channel. Sustained plasma oscillations in the instability endpoint are demonstrated and the properties of these oscillations are analyzed for different positions of the gate and at different values of other physical and geometric FET parameters. The obtained results show the possibility of designing a tunable on-chip source of THz electromagnetic radiation based on the graphene transistor with a shifted gate.

Following, the on-chip THz nano-generator with amplitude and frequency modulation capabilities is presented. The proposed device uses and leverages the tunability of the Dyakonov-Shur instability for the growth and modulation of plasmonic oscillations in the two-dimensional electron gas channel of the graphene transistor.



Prof. Josep Jornet (Advisor)

Prof. Tommaso Melodia

Prof. Matteo Rinaldi

Prof. Hossein Mosallaei


September 22, 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Electrical and Computer Engineering
MS/PhD Thesis Defense
Faculty, Staff


432 ISEC
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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