3D printing is evolving into a standard tool for prototyping various optical components suitable for application in the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum. This work takes the next step in this evolution by demonstrating the fabrication and subsequent evaluation of Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPIs). Large optical area (centimetre scale) Fabry-Perot transmission filters have been 3D printed with polylactic acid (PLA) using a commonly used low-cost 3D printer. The advantages of the proposed approach include low cost, rapid prototyping and repeatability. Terahertz transmission measurements for two demonstrated filter designs realised to target optimisation of either signal transmission or spectral filter performance have been performed using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) and demonstrate good agreement with the simulated response in the operating spectral band of 0.30-0.75 THz (wavelengths from 1000 down to 400 mu m). The critical spectral characteristics assessed were the filter peak transmission magnitude, central wavelength and full width at half-maximum (FWHM) of the transmission peak, as well as the free spectral range (FSR). The signal transmission levels were observed to reach beyond 90% for the first series of filters that targeted optimisation of this aspect; however, this was accompanied by diminished out-of-band rejection and broader transmission peaks in comparison to the second series of filters which targeted the overall performance. For the latter filter series, the resolution in terms of FWHM values of the transmission peaks was reduced to 40-50 GHz, with the out-of-band rejection approaching a ratio of 10:1. This level of spectral performance, along with the achieved signal peak transmission characteristics of 65-75%, provides adequate performance for many applications harnessing the terahertz spectral range.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Journal of Infrared, Millimeter and Terahertz Waves|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 16 Nov 2022|