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

*Corresponding author for this work

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


FundersFunder number
Lithuanian Science FoundationVP1-3.1-SMM-07-K-03-040
Vilnius and Frankfurt1502-2995-11, 1173/2011
Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung


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


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