Abstract

We characterize a heterodyne receiver based on a surface-plasmon waveguide quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting at 2.84THz as a local oscillator, and an NbN hot electron bolometer as a mixer. We find that the envelope of the far-field pattern of the QCL is diffraction-limited and superimposed onto interference fringes, which are similar to those found in narrow double-metal waveguide QCLs. Compared to the latter, a more directional beam allows for better coupling of the radiation power to the mixer. We obtain a receiver noise temperature of 1050K when the mixer is at 2K, which, to our knowledge, is the highest sensitivity reported at frequencies beyond 2.5THz.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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References

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2006 (3)

A. J. L. Adam, I. Kasalynas, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, J. R. Gao, E. E. Orlova, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 151105 (2006).
[CrossRef]

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, T. M. Klapwijk, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

E. Bründermann, M. Havenith, G. Scalari, M. Giovannini, J. Faist, J. Kunsch, L. Mechold, and M. Abraham, Opt. Express 14, 1829 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2005 (4)

S. Barbieri, J. Alton, C. Baker, T. Lo, H. Beere, and D. Ritchie, Opt. Express 13, 6497 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. Kohen, B. S. Williams, and Q. Hu, J. Appl. Phys. 97, 053106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

J. R. Gao, J. N. Hovenier, Z. Q. Yang, J. J. A. Baselmans, A. Baryshev, M. Hajenius, T. M. Klapwijk, A. J. L. Adam, T. O. Klaassen, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 244104 (2005).
[CrossRef]

H.-W. Hübers, S. G. Pavlov, A. D. Semenov, R. Köhler, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, H. E. Beere, D. A. Ritchie, and E. H. Linfield, Opt. Express 13, 5890 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2004 (1)

S. Barbieri, J. Alton, H. E. Beere, J. Fowler, E. H. Linfield, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1674 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2003 (1)

B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, H. Callebaut, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 2124 (2003).
[CrossRef]

2002 (1)

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1995 (1)

H. Ekström, B. S. Karasik, E. L. Kollberg, and K. S. Yngvesson, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 43, 938 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (4)

J. R. Gao, J. N. Hovenier, Z. Q. Yang, J. J. A. Baselmans, A. Baryshev, M. Hajenius, T. M. Klapwijk, A. J. L. Adam, T. O. Klaassen, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 244104 (2005).
[CrossRef]

B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, H. Callebaut, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 2124 (2003).
[CrossRef]

A. J. L. Adam, I. Kasalynas, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, J. R. Gao, E. E. Orlova, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 151105 (2006).
[CrossRef]

S. Barbieri, J. Alton, H. E. Beere, J. Fowler, E. H. Linfield, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1674 (2004).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. (1)

H. Ekström, B. S. Karasik, E. L. Kollberg, and K. S. Yngvesson, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 43, 938 (1995).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (1)

S. Kohen, B. S. Williams, and Q. Hu, J. Appl. Phys. 97, 053106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Nature (1)

R. Köhler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Express (3)

Phys. Rev. Lett. (1)

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, T. M. Klapwijk, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

(a) Schematic view of the 217 μ m wide SP QCL used for the heterodyne experiment. The golden areas represent the metallic top and lateral contacts. (b) Emission spectra of the QCL. (c) Computed mode intensity at the front facet. (d) Computed far field beam pattern.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Contour plot of the measured far-field beam pattern of the 217 μ m wide QCL.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Measured beam pattern of the 217 μ m wide QCL in the horizontal direction, taken at zero vertical angle, together with the calculated far-field beam profile from Fig. 1c. The inset shows the measured and calculated beam profiles in the vertical direction of the same laser. Due to a different mounting of the QCL, there could be a slight offset in the vertical direction in these measurements in comparison to the one in Fig. 2.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Measured receiver noise temperature (symbols, left axis) of the HEB mixer versus the bias voltage at 2.84 THz for the optimal LO power ( 300 nW ) at 4.2 K and also at 2 K . Current-voltage characteristics (curves, right axis) without and with radiation from the 217 μ m wide QCL.

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