Enhanced Plasma Wave Detection of Terahertz Radiation

Applications of THz technology such as sensing of drugs and explosives materials, biomedical imaging, and security imaging require THz detectors with fast response time. The most common THz detectors available now are bolometers, pyroelectric detectors, Schottky diodes , and photoconductive detectors. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in so called plasma wave electronics, which uses plasma waves in field effect transistors (FET) for emission and detection of THz radiation.

A detailed study of plasma wave detectors operating in the deep saturation regime is absent so far. we have experimentally demonstrated for the first time many advantages of operating plasma wave detectors in the saturation regime. Our results showed that the response from several connected transistors increases at least proportionally to the number of transistors placed in series. Future work shall greatly increase the number of the connected transistors in order to take advantage of the improved coupling and this shall also lead to a much greater increase in the responsivity as predicted in. The achieved subwavelength resolution also shows the possibility of designing two dimensions plasmonic FET arrays to sense and image complex distributions of THz intensity as a near field terahertz microscopy.

PIs: Dr. Tamer Elkatib

Collaborators: Prof. Michael Shur and Prof. XC Zhang


  • D. Veskler, A. Muariev, T. Elkhatib, K.N. Salama. M. S. Shur, “ Plasma wave FET for sub-wavelength THz imaging,” International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium (ISDRS’07), pp. 1-2, Collage Park, Maryland, December 2007.
  • W. Stillman, D. Veksler, T. A. Elkhatib, K. Salama, F. Guarin and M. S. Shur, ”Sub-terahertz testing of silicon MOSFET,” Electronics Letters, vol. 44, no. 22, pp. 1325–1327, Oct. 2008.
  • D. B. Veksler, V. Yu. Kachorovskii, A. V. Muravjov, T. A. Elkhatib, K. N. Salama, X.-C. Zhang, and M. S. Shur,”Imaging of field-effect transistors by focused terahertz radiation,” Solid State Electronics, vol. 53, no. 6,pp. 571-573, Jun. 2009.
  • T. A. Elkhatib, V. Y. Kachorovskii, W. J. Stillman, D. B. Veksler, K. N. Salama, X.-C. Zhang, and M. S. Shur, “Enhanced Plasma Waves Detection of Terahertz Radiation using Mulitple High-Electron-Mobility Transistors Connected in Series,” IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques. vol 58, no.2, pp331-339, Feb. 2010.

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