A high-aspect-ratio metallic rod array is demonstrated to generate and propagate highly confined terahertz (THz) surface plasmonic waves under end-fire excitation. The transverse modal power distribution and spectral properties of the bound THz plasmonic wave are characterized in two metallic rod arrays with different periods and in two configurations with and without attaching a subwavelength superstrate. The integrated metallic rod array-based waveguide can be used to sense the various thin films deposited on the polypropylene superstrate based on the phasesensitive mechanism. The sensor exhibits different phase detection sensitivities depending on the modal power immersed in the air gaps between the metallic rods. Deep-subwavelength SiO2 and ZnO nanofilms with an optical path difference of 252 nm, which is equivalent to ?/3968 at 0.300 THz, are used as analytes to test the integrated plasmonic waveguide. Analysis of the refractive index and thickness of molecular membranes indicates that the metallic rod array-based THz waveguide can integrate various biochip platforms for minute molecular detection, which is extremely less than the coherent length of THz waves.
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