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Proceedings Paper

Tunable solid state terahertz-wave sources: new ideas and prospects
Author(s): Sergey A. Mikhailov
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Paper Abstract

An idea to build a solid-state analog of vacuum traveling and backward wave tubes operating in the THz frequency range has long ben discussed in the literature. Experiments directed to the realization of this idea using the radiative decay of grating-coupled 2D plasmons in semiconductor heterostructures have been made since 1980, however the intensity of emitted radiation remains too low so far. A general theory presented here describes the main physical phenomena underlying the operation principles of this kind of devices, and answers the two most important practical questions: why the devices have not worked properly, and what should be done to improve their characteristics. Particular attention is given to recently proposed ideas of using the quantum-wire gratings, instead of commonly employed metal ones. The use of the new type of gratings is shown to lead to a substantial reduction of the threshold velocity of amplifications, and to a very large enhancement of the gain. Physically, this is a consequence of the resonant interaction of plasma waves in the 2D electron layer and in the quantum-wire grating. Specific recommendations on how to build a tunable semiconductor traveling wave tube are formulated, unsolved theoretical problems are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3828, Terahertz Spectroscopy and Applications II, (9 September 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.361028
Show Author Affiliations
Sergey A. Mikhailov, Max-Planck Institut fuer Physik Komplexer System-Dresden (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3828:
Terahertz Spectroscopy and Applications II
J. Martyn Chamberlain, Editor(s)

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