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Thursday, April 21, 2016
Abstract-Origins of Terahertz Difference Frequency Susceptibility in Midinfrared Quantum Cascade Lasers
We present a density-matrix-based transport model applicable to quantum cascade lasers which computes both linear and nonlinear optical properties coherently and nonperturbatively. The model is applied to a dual-active-region midinfrared quantum cascade laser which generates terahertz radiation at the difference frequency between two midinfrared pumps. A new mechanism for terahertz generation is identified as self-detection, ascribed to the beating of current flow following the intensity, associated with stimulated emission. This mechanism peaks at optical rectification but exhibits a bandwidth reaching significantly into the terahertz range, which is primarily limited by the subpicosecond intersubband lifetimes. A metric is derived to assess the strength of self-detection in candidate active regions through experiment alone, and suggestions are made for improvement of the performance at frequencies below 2 THz.