Terahertz frequencies are increasingly gaining attention due to the recent efforts made in narrowing the technological gap among microwave and optical components. Still the demand of efficient THz antennas is high, due to the difficulty in obtaining directive patterns and good radiation efficiencies with planar, low-cost, easy-to-fabricate designs. In this regard, leaky-wave antennas have recently been investigated in the THz range, showing very interesting radiating features. Specifically, the combination of the leakywave antenna design with the use of metamaterials and metasurfaces seems to offer a promising platform for the development of future THz antenna technologies. In this Chapter, we focus on three different classes of leaky-wave antennas, based on either metasurfaces or tunable materials, namely graphene and nematic liquid crystals. While THz leaky-wave antennas based on homogenized metasurfaces are shown to be able to produce directive patterns with particularly good efficiencies, those based on graphene or nematic liquid crystals are shown to be able to dynamically reconfigure their radiating features. The latter property, although being extremely interesting, is obtained at the expense of an increase of costs and fabrication complexity, as it will emerge from the results of the presented study.
5 Nov 2018