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Laterally pumped GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells as sources of broadband terahertz radiation

By R. Reeder, Z. Ikonić, P. Harrison, A. Udal and E. Velmre


In this work we consider lateral current pumped GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells as sources of incoherent terahertz radiation. The lateral field heats the electrons in a two-dimensional quantum layer and increases the population of higher subbands, hence also increasing the radiation power generated in spontaneous intersubband emission processes. Digitally graded quasi-parabolic and simple square quantum wells are considered, and the advantages of both types are discussed. Calculations at lattice temperatures of 77 K and 300 K, for electric fields up to 10 kV/cm, show that the optical output power of ~100−200 W/m2 may be achieved for the 7 THz source. The main peak of the spectrum, at 7 THz, of the quasi-parabolic quantum well exceeds the black body radiation at 300 K by approximately a factor of two and by two orders of magnitude at 77 K

Publisher: The American Institute of Physics
Year: 2007
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