Bandeau Optoteragan


GaN THz Optoelectronics


The terahertz (THz) spectral region, located between the infrared and the microwave regions, is also known as “the THz gap” because of the lack of compact semiconductor devices. This spectral domain is currently intensively explored in view of its potential for medical diagnostics, security screening, trace molecule sensing, astronomical detection, space-borne imaging, non-invasive quality control or wireless communications with enhanced security and large information bandwidth. A prerequisite pplications in the scientific domain (spectroscopy, astrophysics, space-borne imaging…) is the availability of compact-size, fast and low-noise THz photodetectors. The requirement for high detectivity imposes cryogenic cooling of the detector, and thus a main technological challenge is to increase the operating temperature. In turn, the availability of compact light sources operating at non-cryogenic temperatures is crucial for public-domain applications to emerge in the strategic THz frequency range. The OptoTeraGaN project is intended to tackle both issues, namely the development of high-detectivity THz quantum detectors with increased operating temperature with respect to existing technologies as well as THz light emitters, both based on the quantum cascade (QC) concept and on high-quality polar and semipolar GaN/AlGaN semiconductors. We intend to benefit from the large energy of optical phonons in GaN materials for demonstrating QC devices in a much broader spectral range (1-15 THz) and in particular in the 5-12 THz range, which cannot be covered with other III-V semiconductors. The large optical phonon energy is also one key point for increasing the operating temperature of THz QCD and for achieving room temperature operation of THz QC lasers, which appears to be out of range of current GaAs-based QC laser technology.

List of Partners

Consortium members :

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