Line-defect photonic crystal terahertz quantum cascade laser

Klimont, Adam and Ottomaniello, Andrea and Degl'Innocenti, Riccardo and Masini, Luca and Bianco, Federica and Wu, Yuqing and Shah, Yash D. and Ren, Yuan and Jessop, David and Tredicucci, Alessandro and Beere, Harvey and Ritchie, David (2019) Line-defect photonic crystal terahertz quantum cascade laser. Journal of Applied Physics, 126 (15). ISSN 0021-8979

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The terahertz (THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) provides a versatile tool in a plethora of applications ranging from spectroscopy to astronomy and communications. In many of these fields, compactness, single mode frequency emission, and low threshold are highly desirable. The proposed approach, based on line defects in a photonic crystal (PhC) matrix, addresses all these features while offering unprecedented capabilities in terms of flexibility, light waveguiding, and emission directionality. Nine line-defect QCLs were realized in a triangular lattice of pillars fabricated in the laser active region (AR), centered around ∼2 THz by tuning the photonic design. A maximal 36% threshold reduction was recorded for these ultraflat dispersion line-defect QCLs in comparison to standard metal-metal QCL. The mode selectivity is an intrinsic property of the chosen fabrication design and has been achieved by lithographically scaling the dimension of the defect pillars and by acting on the PhC parameters in order to match the AR emission bandwidth. The measured line-defect QCLs emitted preferentially in the single frequency mode in the propagation direction throughout the entire dynamic range. An integrated active platform with multiple directional outputs was also fabricated as proof-of-principle to demonstrate the potential of this approach. The presented results pave the way for integrated circuitry operating in the THz regime and for fundamental studies on microcavity lasers.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Applied Physics
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23 Oct 2019 08:15
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 01:28