Advanced nanophotonics penetrates into other areas of science and technology, ranging from applied physics to biology, which results in many fascinating cross-disciplinary applications. It has been recently demonstrated that suitably engineered light-matter interactions at the nanoscale can overcome the limitations of today’s terahertz (THz) photoconductive antennas, making them one step closer to many practical implications. Here, we push forward this concept by comprehensive numerical optimization and experimental investigation of a log-periodic THz photoconductive antenna coupled to a silver nanoantenna array. We shed light on the operation principles of the resulting hybrid THz antenna, providing an approach to boost its performance. By tailoring the size of silver nanoantennas and their arrangement, we obtain an enhancement of optical-to-THz conversion efficiency 2-fold larger compared with previously reported results for similar structures, and the strongest enhancement is around 1 THz, a frequency range barely achievable by other compact THz sources. We also propose a cost-effective fabrication procedure to realize such hybrid THz antennas with optimized plasmonic nanostructures via thermal dewetting process, which does not require any post processing and makes the proposed solution very attractive for applications.
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