Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces Laboratory

An antipodal Vivaldi antenna for improved far-field properties and polarization manipulation of broadband terahertz quantum cascade lasers

Senica U, Mavrona E, Olariu T, Forrer A, Shahmohammadi M, Beck M, Faist J & Scalari G

Applied Physics Letters, 116(16), 161105 (5 pp.) 2020

We present an antipodal Vivaldi antenna for broadband double metal waveguide terahertz quantum cascade lasers and frequency combs. Its exponentially curved flare profile results in an adiabatic in-plane mode expansion, producing an improved far-field with a single-lobed beam of (23° × 19°) full width half maximum with an octave-spanning bandwidth. The antenna also acts as a wave retarder, rotating the polarization from vertical toward horizontal polarization by a frequency-dependent angle. The laser's emission spectrum and current-voltage characteristics are not affected, as well as frequency comb operation. Measurements agree well with numerical simulations, and the proposed antenna covers a broad spectral range (1.5-4.5 THz).