High order sideband generation in terahertz quantum cascade lasers

Cavalié, P.; Freeman, J.; Maussang, K.; Strupiechonski, E.; Xu, G.; Colombelli, R.; Li, L.; Davies, A. G.; Linfield, E. H.; Tignon, J.; Dhillon, S. S.
June 2013
Applied Physics Letters;6/3/2013, Vol. 102 Issue 22, p221101
Academic Journal
We demonstrate the generation of high order terahertz (THz) frequency sidebands (up to 3rd order) on a near infrared (NIR) optical carrier within a THz quantum cascade laser (QCL). The NIR carrier is resonant with the interband transition of the quantum wells composing the QCL, allowing the nonlinearity to be enhanced and leading to frequency mixing. A phonon depopulation based QCL with a double metal cavity was used to enhance the intracavity power density and to demonstrate the higher order sidebands. The 1st order sideband intensity shows a linear dependence with THz power corresponding to a single THz photon, while the second order sideband has a quadratic dependence implying a two THz photon interaction and hence a third order susceptibility. These measurements are compared to the photoluminescence and the QCL bandstructure to identify the states involved, with the lowest conduction band states contributing the most to the sideband intensity. We also show that the interaction for the second order sideband corresponds to an enhanced direct third order susceptibility χ(3) of ∼7 × 10-16(m/V)2, two orders of magnitude greater than the bulk value.


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