Wireless data traffic has drastically increased over the last few years due to a change in the way today’s society creates, shares and consumes information. In parallel to the massive growth in the total number of mobile connected devices, there has been an increasing demand for higher speed wireless communication anywhere, anytime. Wireless data rates have doubled every eighteen months for the last three decades. Following this trend, Terabit-per-second (Tbps) links will become a reality within the next five years.
In this context, Terahertz (THz)-band (0.1–10 THz) communication is envisioned as a key wireless technology to satisfy such demand. This frequency band, which lies in between millimeter waves and the far-infrared, remains still one of the least explored regions in the EM spectrum. For many decades, the lack of compact high-power signal sources and high-sensitivity detectors able to work at room temperature has hampered the use of the THz band for any application beyond sensing. However, many recent advancements with different electronic, photonic and plasmonic technologies is finally closing the so-called THz gap.
THz-band communication brings many new opportunities to the wireless communication community. The THz band supports huge transmission bandwidths, which range from almost 10 THz for distances below one meter, to multiple transmission windows with bandwidth of tens to hundreds of GHz, for distances in the order of a few tens of meters. The THz band opens the door to a plethora of applications in very diverse domains, ranging from Terabit Wireless Personal and Local Area Networks to Wireless Nanosensor Networks or the Internet of Nano-Things. Nevertheless, there are many challenges from the device, communication, and networking perspectives, which require fundamentally new solutions.
The two-fold mission of this special issue on Terahertz Communications is to increase the visibility of THz communications and to bring together researchers from diverse disciplines that can foster and develop this very fast-developing field. The special issue aims to attract researchers and academics from various fields of study, ranging from THz materials, devices and packaging, to THz communication and networking researchers.
The way in which today’s society creates, shares, and consumes information has resulted in an unprecedented increase in the total number of interconnected devices as well as in the data rates at which these devices transmit information. As millimeter-wave communication becomes an industry standard, there is a need to explore new wireless technologies beyond 300 GHz. Thanks to major breakthroughs in novel THz devices, it is now the right time for the wireless communication community to enter the field.
THz technology has been identified by DARPA as one of the four major research areas that could eventually have an impact on our society larger than that of the Internet itself. Similarly, the development of a new communication and networking technology to support networks with “billions of connected nanosystems” has been identified as one of the four essential components of the next IT revolution by the Semiconductor Research Consortium (SRC) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF), who are now supporting multiple large scale research initiatives in THz communications. More recently, THz communications has been identified by IEEE COMSOC as one of the nine communication technology trends to follow.
Another aspect to highlight is the fact that the THz band is not yet regulated. In particular, in the US, only the spectrum from 95 GHz to 275 GHz has been allocated for different services, but currently there are no licensed or unlicensed active services above 95 GHz. The IEEE 802.15 Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN) Terahertz Interest Group (IGTHz) was created back in 2008, with the aim of collecting under one umbrella all the standardization efforts for future communication systems in the THz band. Later on, as a spin-off from the group, the IEEE 802.15 WPAN Task Group 3d 100 Gbit/s Wireless was created and developed the first standard for communications at 300 GHz (IEEE 802.15.3d-2017 standard). It is truly the right time for the community to meet, present the state of the art and discuss the future of this field.
Targeted participants and contributors of the special issue include but are not limited to academic researchers in the field of 5G and beyond, millimeter waves, optical wireless communications, as well as inter-disciplinary areas of nanotechnologies, antennas, propagation, and material sciences. Also, this special issue is expected to attract attendees from funding agencies, industrial partners, and standardization groups, who have strong interests in future-generation wireless systems.
The submitted papers should be original, not published or currently under review for publications in any other journal. Submitted Articles have no page limits and can be any of the following types: technical, tutorial, survey, magazine, letter, or commentary. Also, authors can submit multiple articles to the same issue.