Terahertz bow-tie diode based on asymmetrically shaped AlGaN/GaN heterostructures

  • J. Jorudas
  • D. Seliuta
  • L. Minkevičius
  • V. Janonis
  • L. Subačius
  • D. Pashnev
  • S. Pralgauskaitė
  • J. Matukas
  • K. Ikamas
  • A. Lisauskas
  • E. Šermukšnis
  • J. Liberis
  • V. Kovalevskij
  • I. Kašalynas
Keywords: THz bow-tie diode, AlGaN/GaN heterostructure, 2DEG, asymmetrical BT antenna


Asymmetrical shaping of AlGaN/GaN heterostructures containing a conductive layer of two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) was used for the development of bow-tie (BT) diodes for room temperature terahertz (THz) detection. Considering operation of the THz BT diode in the unbiased mode as preferable for practical applications, we investigated the diodes with an obvious asymmetry of IV characteristics, which was found to be more pronounced with the decrease of an apex width, resulting in the sensitive THz detection. A nonuniform heating of carriers in a metalized leaf of the BT diode was attributed as the main mechanism that caused the rectification of THz waves. The responsivity and noise-equivalent power (NEP) at the fundamental antenna frequency of 150 GHz were up to 4 V/W and 2 nW/√Hz, respectively. Such high sensitivity of BT diodes allowed us to measure for the first time the response spectrum of the asymmetric BT antenna demonstrating fundamental and higher order resonances in good agreement with finite-difference time-domain simulation data in a broad spectrum range. The detailed investigation of the lowand high-frequency noise characteristics of AlGaN/GaN BT diodes revealed that only thermal noise needs to be considered for the unbiased operation, the value of which was relatively low due to a high density of 2DEG enabling low resistivity values. Moreover, we observed that the responsivity of BT diode scales with its resistance, revealing that tapering of the diode apex below a few microns could be ineffective in applications which require low NEP values.