Designer spoof surface plasmon structures collimate terahertz laser beams


Nanfang Yu, Qijie Wang, Mikhail A. Kats, Jonathan A. Fan, Suraj P. Khanna, Lianhe Li, A. Giles Davies, Edmund H. Linfield, and Federico Capasso. 2010. “Designer spoof surface plasmon structures collimate terahertz laser beams.” NATURE MATERIALS, 9, 9, Pp. 730-735.
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Surface plasmons have found a broad range of applications in photonic devices at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. In contrast, longer-wavelength surface electromagnetic waves, known as Sommerfeld or Zenneck waves(1,2), are characterized by poor confinement to surface and are therefore difficult to control using conventional metallo-dielectric plasmonic structures. However, patterning the surface with subwavelength periodic features can markedly reduce the asymptotic surface plasmon frequency, leading to `spoof' surface plasmons(3,4) with subwavelength confinement at infrared wavelength and beyond, which mimic surface plasmons at much shorter wavelength. We demonstrate that by directly sculpting designer spoof surface plasmon structures that tailor the dispersion of terahertz surface plasmon polaritons on the highly doped semiconductor facets of terahertz quantum cascade lasers, the performance of the lasers can be markedly enhanced. Using a simple one-dimensional grating design, the beam divergence of the lasers was reduced from similar to 180 degrees to similar to 10 degrees, the directivity was improved by over 10 decibels and the power collection efficiency was increased by a factor of about six compared with the original unpatterened devices. We achieve these improvements without compromising high-temperature performance of the laser.
Last updated on 05/23/2020