Superstrate-lens integration using paraffin wax on top of semiconductor-based THz detector chips

  • H. Yuan
  • Q. ul-Islam
  • H.G. Roskos
Keywords: THz detection, THz coupling, heterodyne detection


A detector of electromagnetic radiation may benefit – if its sensor area is small – from the application of a substrate lens, which focusses the radiation onto the active sensing area of the device and thus enhances its responsivity. The use of such a lens, attached directly onto the detector backside in order to avoid reflection losses, requires that the detector substrate and backside be transparent to the radiation. However, if this is not the case, one may like to place instead a superstrate lens onto the front side of the detector. It may even be of interest to use both a substrate and a superstrate lens if the detector needs to be illuminated with two beams, e.g. for heterodyne detection, where one beam provides the local-oscillator signal. The use of a superstrate lens is, however, often hindered or impeded by an uneven surface topography or by the presence of bonding wires on the front side of the detector. Here, we address this issue and explore the use of paraffin wax to form or attach superstrate lenses. In the first case, which is the main topic of this contribution, we exploit the surface tension of liquid paraffin, brought onto the detector, to sculpt the wax itself into a lens. In the second case, only addressed conceptually here, we use paraffin to form a thin intermediate layer which also acts as an adhesive for the attachment of a plastic or silicon lens. In both cases, the application of liquid paraffin allows one to fill out an uneven detector surface and to embed wires without breaking them. We investigate the use of wax for the case of CMOS TeraFETs – detectors of terahertz radiation based on field-effect transistors – embedded into antenna structures. We describe the processing steps and analyze the performance of a TeraFET equipped with such a wax superstrate lens for front-side beam coupling.