Abstract

A new generation unbiased antennaless CW terahertz (THz) photomixer emitters array made of asymmetric metal–semiconductor–metal (MSM) gratings with a subwavelength pitch, operating in the optical near-field regime, is proposed. We take advantage of size effects in near-field optics and electrostatics to demonstrate the possibility of enhancing the THz power by 4 orders of magnitude, compared to a similar unbiased antennaless array of the same size that operates in the far-field regime. We show that, with the appropriate choice of grating parameters in such THz sources, the first plasmonic resonant cavity mode in the nanoslit between two adjacent MSMs can enhance the optical near-field absorption and, hence, the generation of photocarriers under the slit in the active medium. These photocarriers, on the other hand, are accelerated by the large built-in electric field sustained under the nanoslits by two dissimilar Schottky barriers to create the desired large THz power that is mainly radiated downward. The proposed structure can be tuned in a broadband frequency range of 0.1–3 THz, with output power increasing with frequency.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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