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Photoelectric tunable-step terahertz detectors: a study on optimal antenna parameters, speed, and temperature performance

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Chen, Ran 
Xia, Ruqiao 
Griffiths, Jonathan 
Beere, Harvey E 
Ritchie, David A 


Field effect transistors have shown promising performance as terahertz (THz) detectors over the past few decades. Recently, a quantum phenomenon, the in-plane photoelectric effect, was discovered as a novel detection mechanism in gated two-dimensional electron gases (2DEGs), and devices based on this effect, photoelectric tunable-step (PETS) THz detectors, have been proposed as sensitive THz detectors. Here, we demonstrate a PETS THz detector based on GaAs/AlGaAs heterojunction using a dipole antenna. We investigate the dependence of the in-plane photoelectric effect on parameters including the dimensions and the operating temperature of the device. Two figures of merit within the 2DEG, the maximum electric field and the radiation-induced ac-potential difference, are simulated to determine the optimal design of the PETS detector antenna. We identify the optimal antenna gap size, metal thickness, and 2DEG depth, and demonstrate the first PETS detector with a symmetric dipole antenna, which shows high-speed detection of 1.9 THz radiation with a strong photoresponse. Our findings deepen the understanding of the in-plane photoelectric effect and provide a universal guidance for the design of future PETS THz detectors.



far-infrared detection, in-plane photoelectric effect, PETS detector, photoelectric tunable-step detector, terahertz detection, two-dimensional electron gas

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De Gruyter
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P021859/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/W028921/1)
China Scholarship Council and Cambridge Trust: CSC Cambridge International Scholarship (Ran Chen) Trinity College Cambridge: Junior Research Fellowship (Wladislaw Michailow)
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