Exploration of terahertz imaging with silicon MOSFETs

Alvydas Lisauskas, Maris Bauer, Sebastian Boppel, Martin Mundt, Bassam Khamaisi, Eran Socher, Rimvydas Venckevičius, Linas Minkevičius, Irmantas Kašalynas, Dalius Seliuta, Gintaras Valušis, Viktor Krozer, Hartmut G. Roskos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We summarize three lines of development and investigation of foundryprocessed patch-antenna-coupled Si MOSFETs as detectors of THz radiation: (i) Exploiting the pinciple of plasma-waved-based mixing in the two-dimensional electron gas of the transistors' channels, we demonstrate efficient detection at frequencies as high as 9 THz, much above the transit-time-limited cut-off frequencies of the devices (tens of GHz). Real-time imaging at 600 GHz with a 12×12 detector array is explored. (ii) Given the limited THz power usually available for applications, we explore imaging with enhanced sensitivity in heterodyne mode. We show that real-time operation of a 100×100-pixel heterodyne camera should be possible at 600 GHz with a better dynamic range (30 dB) than for direct power detection (20 dB), even if only a quarter-milliwatt of local-oscillator power, distributed radiatively over all detector pixels, is available. (iii) Finally, we present an all-electronic rasterscan imaging system for 220 GHz entirely based on CMOS devices, combining the CMOS detectors with an emitter circuit implemented in a 90-nm CMOS process and delivering radiation with a power on the 100-μW scale. Considering progress in the field, we anticipate that the emitter concept of oscillator-based power generation with on-chip frequency multiplication will carry well into the sub-millimeter-wave regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-80
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Heterodyne detection
  • Silicon CMOS circuits
  • Terahertz emitters and detectors
  • Terahertz imaging


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