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Line-defect photonic crystal terahertz quantum cascade laser

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Adam Klimont
  • Andrea Ottomaniello
  • Riccardo Degl'Innocenti
  • Luca Masini
  • Federica Bianco
  • Yuqing Wu
  • Yash D. Shah
  • Yuan Ren
  • David Jessop
  • Alessandro Tredicucci
  • Harvey Beere
  • David Ritchie
Article number153104
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/10/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Applied Physics
Issue number15
Number of pages8
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.