Textured semiconductors for enhanced photoconductive terahertz emission Collier, Christopher Michael; Krupa, Jeffrey D. A.; Hristovski, Ilija R.; Stirling, Trevor J.; Bergen, Mark; Holzman, Jonathan F.
There are severe limitations that photoconductive (PC) terahertz (THz) antennas experience due to Joule heating and ohmic losses, which cause premature device breakdown through thermal runaway. In response, this work introduces PC THz antennas utilizing textured InP semiconductors. These textured InP semiconductors exhibit high surface recombination properties and have shortened carrier lifetimes which limit residual photocurrents in the picoseconds following THz pulse emission—ultimately reducing Joule heating and ohmic losses. Fine- and coarse-textured InP semiconductors are studied and compared to a smooth-textured InP semiconductor, which provides a baseline. The surface area ratio (measuring roughness) of the smooth-, fine-, and coarse-textured InP semiconductors is resolved through a computational analysis of SEM images and found as 1.0 ± 0.1, 2.9 ± 0.4, and 4.3 ± 0.6, respectively. The carrier lifetimes of the smooth-, fine-, and coarse-textured InP semiconductors are found as respective values of 200 ± 6, 100 ± 10, and 20 ± 3 ps when measured with a pump-probe experimental system. The emitted THz electric fields and corresponding consumption of photocurrent are measured with a THz experimental setup. The temporal and spectral responses of PC THz antennas made with each of the textured InP semiconductors are found to be similar; however, the consumption of photocurrent (relating to Joule heating and ohmic losses) is greatly diminished for the semiconductors that are textured. The findings of this work can assist in engineering of small-scale PC THz antennas for high-power operation, where they are extremely vulnerable to premature device breakdown through thermal runaway.
Item Citations and Data
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International