Thursday, March 16, 2017

Abstract-Near-field terahertz probes with room-temperature nanodetectors for subwavelength resolution imaging

Oleg Mitrofanov, Leonardo Viti, Enrico Dardanis, Maria Caterina Giordano, Daniele Ercolani, Antonio Politano, Lucia Sorba,  Miriam S. Vitiello

Near-field imaging with terahertz (THz) waves is emerging as a powerful technique for fundamental research in photonics and across physical and life sciences. Spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limit can be achieved by collecting THz waves from an object through a small aperture placed in the near-field. However, light transmission through a sub-wavelength size aperture is fundamentally limited by the wave nature of light. Here, we conceive a novel architecture that exploits inherently strong evanescent THz field arising within the aperture to mitigate the problem of vanishing transmission. The sub-wavelength aperture is originally coupled to asymmetric electrodes, which activate the thermo-electric THz detection mechanism in a transistor channel made of flakes of black-phosphorus or InAs nanowires. The proposed novel THz near-field probes enable room-temperature sub-wavelength resolution coherent imaging with a 3.4 THz quantum cascade laser, paving the way to compact and versatile THz imaging systems and promising to bridge the gap in spatial resolution from the nanoscale to the diffraction limit.

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