Abstract

We present a novel, free-standing low-temperature GaAs (LT-GaAs) photoconductive switch and demonstrate its femtosecond performance. A 1-μm-thick layer of a single-crystal LT-GaAs was patterned into 5–10-μm-wide and 15–30-μm-long bars, separated from their GaAs substrate and, subsequently, placed across gold coplanar transmission lines deposited on a Si substrate, forming a photoconductive switch. The switch was excited with 110-fs-wide optical pulses, and its photoresponse was measured with an electro-optic sampling system. Using 810-nm optical radiation, we recorded an electrical transient as short as 360 fs (1.25 THz, 3-dB bandwidth) and established that the photo-carrier lifetime in our LT-GaAs was 150 fs. Our free-standing devices exhibited quantum efficiency of the order of ∼7%, and their photoresponse amplitude was a linear function of the applied voltage bias, as well as a linear function of the excitation power, below a well-defined saturation threshold.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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