3 years ago

Ultrafast terahertz detectors based on three-dimensional meta-atoms.

P. Crozat, B. Paulillo, H. Nong, R. Colombelli, L. H. Li, A. G. Davies, G. Xu, S. Guilet, S. Pirotta, E. H. Linfield, S. Dhillon

Terahertz (THz) and sub-THz frequency emitter and detector technologies are receiving increasing attention, underpinned by emerging applications in ultra-fast THz physics, frequency-combs technology and pulsed laser development in this relatively unexplored region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In particular, semiconductor-based ultrafast THz receivers are required for compact, ultrafast spectroscopy and communication systems, and to date, quantum well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) have proved to be an excellent technology to address this given their intrinsic ps-range response However, with research focused on diffraction-limited QWIP structures (lambda/2), RC constants cannot be reduced indefinitely, and detection speeds are bound to eventually meet un upper limit. The key to an ultra-fast response with no intrinsic upper limit even at tens of GHz is an aggressive reduction in device size, below the diffraction limit. Here we demonstrate sub-wavelength (lambda/10) THz QWIP detectors based on a 3D split-ring geometry, yielding ultra-fast operation at a wavelength of around 100 {\mu}m. Each sensing meta-atom pixel features a suspended loop antenna that feeds THz radiation in the ~20 m3 active volume. Arrays of detectors as well as single-pixel detectors have been implemented with this new architecture, with the latter exhibiting ultra-low dark currents below the nA level. This extremely small resonator architecture leads to measured optical response speeds - on arrays of 300 devices - of up to ~3 GHz and an expected device operation of up to tens of GHz, based on the measured S-parameters on single devices and arrays.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.06459

DOI: arXiv:1801.06459v1

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