Operation of quantum dot based terahertz photoconductive antennas under extreme pumping conditions

Andrei Gorodetsky*, Ivo T. Leite, Edik U. Rafailov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photoconductive antennas deposited onto GaAs substrates that incorporate InAs quantum dots have been recently shown to efficiently generate both pulsed and CW terahertz radiation. In this Letter, we determine the operational limits of these antennas and demonstrate their extreme thermal breakdown tolerance. Implanted quantum dots serve as free carrier capture sites, thus acting as lifetime shorteners, similar to defects in low-temperature grown substrates. However, unlike the latter, defect-free quantum-dot structures possess perfect lattice quality, thus not compromising high carrier mobility and pump intensity stealth. Single gap design quantum dot based photoconductive antennas are shown to operate under up to 1 W of average pump power (∼1.6 mJ cm−2 energy density), which is more than 20 times higher than the pumping limit of low-temperature grown GaAs based substrates. Conversion efficiency of the quantum dot based photoconductive antennas does not saturate up to 0.75 W of pump power (∼1.1 mJ cm−2 energy density). Such a thermal tolerance suggests a glowy prospect for the proposed antennas as a perspective candidate for intracavity optical-to-terahertz converters.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111102
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Funding: This project has received funding from Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Grant No. EP/


  • antennas
  • quantum dots
  • terahertz radiation
  • photoconductivity
  • crystal lattices


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