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Terahertz Communications and Sensing for 6G and Beyond: A Comprehensive Review

Wei Jiang; Qiuheng Zhou; Jiguang He; Mohammad Asif Habibi; Sergiy Melnyk; Mohammed El-Absi; Bin Han; Marco Di Renzo; Hans Dieter Schotten; Fa-Long Luo; Tarek S. El-Bawab; Markku Juntti; Merouane Debbah; Victor C. M. Leung
In: IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, Vol. 26, Pages 1-56, IEEE Xplore, 12/2024.


Next-generation cellular technologies, commonly referred to as the 6G, are envisioned to support a higher system capacity, better performance, and network sensing capabilities. The THz band is one potential enabler to this end due to the large unused frequency bands and the high spatial resolution enabled by the short signal wavelength and large bandwidth. Different from earlier surveys, this paper presents a comprehensive treatment and technology survey on THz communications and sensing in terms of advantages, applications, propagation characterization, channel modeling, measurement campaigns, antennas, transceiver devices, beamforming, networking, the integration of communications and sensing, and experimental testbeds. Starting from the motivation and use cases, we survey the development and historical perspective of THz communications and sensing with the anticipated 6G requirements. We explore the radio propagation, channel modeling, and measurement for the THz band. The transceiver requirements, architectures, technological challenges, and state-of-the-art approaches to compensate for the high propagation losses, including appropriate antenna design and beamforming solutions. We overview several related technologies that either are required by or are beneficial for THz systems and networks. The synergistic design of sensing and communications is explored in depth. Practical trials, demonstrations, and experiments are also summarized. The paper gives a holistic view of the current state of the art and highlights the open research challenges towards 6G and beyond.