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PhD Thesis (H/F): Generation of microwave and THz radiation through non-linear mixing and photomixing of mid-infrared photons

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Date Limite Candidature : mardi 11 mai 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR8520-STEBAR-001
Date of publication : Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Stefano Barbieri
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 30 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Multi-quantum well (MQW) hetereostructures have been shown to possess an intrinsic second-order non-linear susceptibility associated with electronic intersubband transitions that is several orders of magnitude larger than any other condensed matter system [1]. This fact makes them one of the most attractive nonlinear materials for some type of applications such as the generation of sub-mm and Terahertz (THz) radiation through difference frequency mixing [2]. Another efficient and well-known process for the generation of such frequencies is photomixing [3]. Recently we have demonstrated this concept by embedding a MQW heterostructure inside a 2D-array of patch-antenna resonators, connected to a microwave coplanar line (see the figure). With this device we have shown microwave generation up to 70GHz by photomixing of two quantum cascade lasers emitting a 10um wavelength [4].
In the first part of this project we plan to exploit the same structure for microwave generation through non-linear mixing in asymmetric quantum wells [1]. Indeed, coupling the array of patch resonators to a coplanar waveguide provides an ideal system to carry out a direct and straightforward comparison of the efficiencies of non-linear generation and photomixing in intersubband systems, which is still lacking in the literature. In the second part of the project we target the generation of radiation in the sub-mm and THz range. To this end we will couple the 2D-array of patch resonators with properly tailored THz antennas that will radiate in free space. With this original system we target the demonstration of the generation of THz radiation through both photomixing and non-linear mixing of mid-infrared photons.

[1] E. Dupont et al. IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 42, 1157 (2006)
[2] K. Fujita et al., Nanophoton. 7, 1795 (2018)
[3] S. Preu et al., J. Appl. Phys. 109, 061301 (2011)
[4] M. Hakl, et al., ACS Photon. 8, 464 (2021)

Work Context

The work will be carried out in the THz-Photonics group at IEMN Laboratory. The group has a long lasting experience in the conception and realization of THz optoelectronic devices, and is fully equipped for the fabrication and characterization of the devices realized in this project. Equipment includes state of the art microwave and mm/sub-mm-wave electronic instrumentation, as well as MIR optics, sources, detectors and spectrometers. The Laboratory hosts a 1500m2 clean-room with state of the art growth and fabrication facilities. IEMN is located in Lille, the capital of French Flanders, a vibrant city at 50min by train from Paris-CDG airport.

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