Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 4 (2009)

Imaging the coupling of terahertz radiation to a high electron mobility transistor in the near-field

M. Ortolani, A. Di Gaspare, E. Giovine, F. Evangelisti, V. Foglietti, A. Doria, G. P. Gallerano, E. Giovenale, G. Messina, I. Spassovsky, C. Lanzieri, M. Peroni, A. Cetronio


We used AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors as room-temperature direct detectors of radiation at 0.15 THz from a free electron laser, hence 5 times higher than their cutoff frequency of 30 GHz. By near-field active mapping we investigated the antenna-like coupling of the radiation to the transistor channel. We formulate a model for the detection based on self-mixing in the transistor channel. The noise equivalent power is found in the range of 10^{-7} W/Hz^{0.5} without any optimization of the device responsivity. Present day AlGaN/GaN fabrication technology may provide operation at higher frequency, integration of amplifiers for improved responsivity and fast switches for multiplexing, which make the detector here described the basic element of a monolithic terahertz focal plane array.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2009.09006]

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