Coherent Wireless Link at 300 GHz With 160 Gbit/s Enabled by a Photonic Transmitter
The increasing demand for high-capacity wireless communication requires data links at millimeter waves and terahertz frequencies, respectively. At those frequencies, electronic and photonic technologies compete to prove powerful transmitters and receivers. In this work, we demonstrate a wireless link at 300 GHz using a fiber-coupled PIN photodiode as the transmitter. Thus, the whole emitter side is based on components and techniques from standard fiber-optical communication, which inherently enable broadband data channels. We investigated two antenna designs with amplitude modulated and coherent data signals. Despite similar characteristics in terms of output power and carrier bandwidth, the quality of the data signals differed significantly. In addition, we found that the bit-error ratio (BER) scales non-monotonically with the optical input power of the photodiode, which is proportional to the terahertz output power. Depending on the modulation format and the symbol rate, we identified the optimal driving conditions of the photodiode. For amplitude modulation at 5 Gbit/s, we achieved error-free transmission with a BER of 7.5 × 10-13. QPSK modulation was error-free up to 64 Gbit/s. The highest line rate of 160 Gbit/s was achieved with 32QAM modulation. This corresponds to 133 Gbit/s net data rate after forward-error correction with 20% overhead. The highest spectral efficiency was achieved with 64QAM at 8 GBaud, i.e., 48 Gbit/s line rate. The presented results highlight the high bandwidth of photonic wireless THz links. Furthermore, the carefully analysis helps to improve the quality of future wireless links in the 300 GHz band.