Issue 31, 2019

Single-walled carbon nanotube layers for millimeter-wave beam steering


The ability to efficiently transmit and manipulate high-frequency signals poses major challenges resulting in a lack of active and reconfigurable millimeter-wave and terahertz devices that are needed to enable beyond-5G broadband communication systems. Here, thin single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) layers are introduced as a tunable impedance surface for millimeter-waves. Carbon nanotube layers are integrated with dielectric rod waveguides. Their surface impedance, tuned by light, is shown to modify the wave propagation inside the waveguide. A direct application of the effect is a phase shifter, demonstrated experimentally and by numerical simulations. Additionally, an antenna array of two dielectric waveguides, one covered in SWCNTs, is designed and fabricated. The proof-of-concept illustrates optically-controlled beam steering enabled by carbon nanotubes, and directions for further device optimizations are provided. These findings demonstrate thin SWCNT layers as an optically-reconfigurable element, suitable for broadband millimeter-wave communications.

Graphical abstract: Single-walled carbon nanotube layers for millimeter-wave beam steering

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
28 Mar 2019
11 Jul 2019
First published
12 Jul 2019
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale, 2019,11, 14691-14697

Single-walled carbon nanotube layers for millimeter-wave beam steering

S. Smirnov, D. V. Lioubtchenko and J. Oberhammer, Nanoscale, 2019, 11, 14691 DOI: 10.1039/C9NR02705J

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