Continuous-wave laser operation of a dipole antenna terahertz microresonator

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Masini, L 
Pitanti, A 
Baldacci, L 
Vitiello, MS 
Degl'Innocenti, Riccardo  ORCID logo

Resonators and the way they couple to external radiation rely on very different concepts if one considers devices belonging to the photonic and electronic worlds. The terahertz frequency range, however, provides intriguing possibilities for the development of hybrid technologies that merge ideas from both fields in novel functional designs. In this paper, we show that high-quality, sub-wavelength, whispering-gallery lasers can be combined to form a linear dipole antenna, which creates a very efficient, low-threshold laser emission in a collimated beam pattern. For this purpose, we employ a terahertz quantum-cascade active region patterned into two 19-μm-radius microdisks coupled by a suspended metallic bridge, which simultaneously acts as an inductive antenna and produces the dipole symmetry of the lasing mode. Continuous-wave vertical emission is demonstrated at approximately 3.5 THz in a very regular, low-divergence (±10°) beam, with a high slope efficiency of at least 160 mW/A and a mere 6 mA of threshold current, which is ensured by the ultra-small resonator size (V_RES/λ³ ≈10‾²). The extremely low power consumption and the superior beam brightness make this concept very promising for the development of miniaturized and portable THz sources to be used in the field for imaging and sensing applications as well as for exploring novel optomechanical intracavity effects.

microresonators, optical antennas, quantum cascade laser, terahertz, whispering gallery
Journal Title
Light: Science and Applications
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Springer Nature
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/J017671/1)
European Research Council (321122)
The authors acknowledge funding from EU through the ERC Advanced Grant SouLMan (GA 321122).