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13 May 2015 GaN-based terahertz quantum cascade lasers
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III-nitride semiconductors having huge longitudinal optical phonon energies are promising as materials to solve a problem of "development of operational frequency range (5-12 THz)" on THz-QCLs. In this study, for the purpose of THz lasing from target subband levels, we designed unique quantum cascade (QC) structures whose active regions consisted of two quantum wells (QWs) for one period and the number of wave-functions contributed to lasing is limited to minimum 3 subband levels. (i.e., Pure 3-level laser system). We fabricated THz-QCLs with QC structures of a pure 3- level laser system (100-200 periods) through a radio-frequency molecular beam epitaxy (RF-MBE) and a metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on MOCVD-growth AlGaN/AlN templates grown on c-plane sapphire substrates. Clear satellite peaks in XRD analyses could be observed, indicating that layer structures were stacked with a good periodicity. By comparing data with simulation spectra, it was found that error of film thicknesses were 1-3 %. We observed sharp lasing spectra with peaks at frequencies of ~5.5 THz and ~7.0 THz whose full width at half maximum (FWHM) values were close to those of resolution of FTIR spectrometer, when we tried pulse current injection measurements into THz-QCL devices. We successfully for the first time realized GaN-based THz-QCL devices lasing at almost the same frequencies as the target ones by designing a 2QWs-type QC structure with a pure 3-level laser system. We also successfully achieved lasing at ~5.5 and ~7.0 THz, which are highest reported to date for any kinds of THz- QCLs.
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Wataru Terashima and Hideki Hirayama "GaN-based terahertz quantum cascade lasers", Proc. SPIE 9483, Terahertz Physics, Devices, and Systems IX: Advanced Applications in Industry and Defense, 948304 (13 May 2015);

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