Far infrared (THz) electroluminescence from Si/SiGe quantum cascade heterostructures

S. A. Lynch, D. J. Paul, R. Bates, D. J. Norris, A. G. Cullis, Z. Ikonic, R. W. Kelsall, P. Harrison, D. D. Arnone, C. R. Pidgeon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


There is strong interest in the development of sources that emit radiation in the far infrared (1-10 THz) frequency range for applications which include early detection of skin cancer, dental imaging, telecommunications, security scanning, gas sensing, astronomy, molecular spectroscopy, and the possible detection of biological weapons. While a number of THz sources are available, there are at present no compact, efficient, cheap and practical high-power solid-state sources such as light emitting diodes or lasers. Silicon is an excellent candidate for such a THz source since the lack of polar optical phonon scattering makes it an inherently low loss material at these frequencies. Furthermore, since over 97% of all microelectronics is presently silicon based, the realisation of a silicon based emitter/laser could potentially allow integration with conventional silicon-based microelectronics. In this paper THz electroluminescence from a Si/SiGe quantum cascade structure operating significantly above liquid helium temperatures is demonstrated. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was performed using step scan spectrometer with a liquid helium cooled Si-bolometer for detection. Spectra are presented demonstrating intersubband electroluminescence at a number of different frequencies. These spectral features agree very well with the theoretically calculated intersubband transitions predicted for the structure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Opto-Ireland 2002
Subtitle of host publicationOptics and Photonics Technologies and Applications
EditorsVincent Toal, Norman Douglas McMillan, Gerrard M. O'Connor, Eon O'Mongain, Austin F. Duke, John F. Donegan, James A. Mclaughlin, Brian D. MacCraith, Werner J. Blau
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventOpto-Ireland 2002: Optics and Photonics Technologies and Applications - Galway, Ireland
Duration: 5 Sep 20026 Sep 2002

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceOpto-Ireland 2002


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