Terahertz instability of surface optical-phonon polaritons that interact with surface plasmon polaritons in the presence of electron drift

Sydoruk, O.; Shamonina, E.; Kalinin, V.; Solymar, L.
October 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2010, Vol. 17 Issue 10, p102103
Academic Journal
Traveling-wave interaction between optical phonons and electrons drifting in diatomic semiconductors has potential for amplification and generation of terahertz radiation. Existing models of this interaction were developed for infinite materials. As a more practically relevant configuration, we studied theoretically a finite semiconductor slab surrounded by a dielectric. This paper analyzes the optical-phonon instability in the slab including the Lorentz force and compares it to the instability in an infinite material. As the analysis shows, the slab instability occurs because of the interaction of surface optical-phonon polaritons with surface plasmon polaritons in the presence of electron drift. The properties of the instability depend on the slab thickness when the thickness is comparable to the wavelength. For large slab thicknesses, however, the dispersion relation of the slab is similar to that of an infinite material, although the coupling is weaker. The results could be used for the design of practical terahertz traveling-wave oscillators and amplifiers.


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