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Mr Inigo Belio Apaolaza
Mr Inigo Belio Apaolaza profile picture
  • Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher
  • Dept of Electronic & Electrical Eng
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Iñigo Belío Apaolaza received the B.Sc. degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Public University of Pamplona (UPNA), Spain, in 2019, the M.Sc. degree in Telecommunications Engineering and the M.Sc. degree in Telecommunication Technologies, Systems and Networks from Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Spain, in 2021. In 2019, he was a visiting student at University of Applied Sciences of Vienna, Austria, as part of the ERASMUS+ programme. During his M.Sc. studies, he joined PhotonicsResearch Labs (PRL), iTEAM Research Institute, as a junior researcher, where he worked on the development of RF photonic front-ends for Huawei. His master’s thesis focused on the design and characterization of ultra-linear integrated optical modulators on silicon-on-insulator platform. He is currently working towards the Ph.D. degree in THz photonics as a member of the ultra-fast photonics group in UCL

Research Summary
My research project titled "Hybrid photonics-enabled integrated THz receivers" looks at the possibility to create highly sensitive room temperature THz receivers that can be pumped optically.

Integrated photonic-based technologies are consolidating as a solid option for THz systems, due to their intrinsic advantages compared to electronic devices such as wide tuneability or the direct integration with fibre networks. In THz communications, photonic-based transmitters have enabled the first indoor links at data rates beyond 100Gbps, using typically high-frequency and high-power uni-travelling-carrier photodiodes (UTC-PD) as photomixers. On the receiver side, however, electronic solutions are still more efficient, being Schottky barrier diodes (SBD) the preferred option as detectors and mixers due to their excellent response within the THz range. This allows THz heterodyne receivers to be implemented, enabling high sensitivity and coherent systems as well as intermediate frequency amplification and filtering. 

The goal of this project is to combine the two worlds and ultimately develop a fully integrated heterodyne receiver for THz signal consisting of an SBD pumped by an optically generated local oscillator signal from an UTC-PD. This will include the study to develop a novel InP-based Schottky Barrier Diode that could be easily integrated within the standard growth of a UTC-PD, while also looking at hybrid integration with GaAs-based SBD. The design work will also look at optimising the coupling of the UTC-PD signal with the SBD for THz frequencies,looking at different on-chip waveguide solutions. The final integrated device is expected to demonstrate state-of-the-art sensitivity and tuneability in the THz range.

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