Share Email Print

Proceedings Paper

Compact phonon-pumped terahertz laser
Author(s): Peter M. Livingston; Elizabeth Twyford Kunkee
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $17.00 $21.00

Paper Abstract

This paper describes a concept to generate coherent THz radiation in a semiconductor diode device using phonon generation via high-mobility electrons in semiconductor quantum well heterostructures. The theoretical basis for pumping both acoustic and optical phonons by high-mobility, two-dimensionally confined electrons has been established over the past decade. The electrons drift parallel to the quantum well heterojunction, and because their drift velocity exceeds either the local velocity of sound or the phase velocity of optical phonons in the crystal, energy is transferred from the electrons to the phonons (Cherenkov radiation). Strong confinement of both electrons and optical phonons in the quantum well leads to highly efficient energy transfer from high mobility electrons to coherent phonon waves. Plasmon oscillations created by coherent phonons in a polar material (such as GaAs or InP) create propagating THz electromagnetic fields. This process is analogous to the physical process that is the basis of a laser: multi-level pumping, stimulated emission, and a selection of one mode at the expense of the other modes. This paper describes a design approach to design structures that will produce required electron velocities and bias fields, for phonon generation through electrical pumping. This paper will also discuss the applicability of incorporating acoustic mirrors for a high finesse phonon cavity, and approaches for outcoupling the THz radiation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2003
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5070, Terahertz for Military and Security Applications, (29 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.501088
Show Author Affiliations
Peter M. Livingston, Northrop Grumman Space Technology (United States)
Elizabeth Twyford Kunkee, Northrop Grumman Space Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5070:
Terahertz for Military and Security Applications
R. Jennifer Hwu; Dwight L. Woolard, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top