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Etude et réalisation de capteurs térahertz à base de nanocanaux asymétriques de gaz d’électrons bidimensionnel

Abstract : Terahertz frequency domain (THz, 1 THz = 10^12 Hz) is part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is not yet under control. It does have physical properties that concern very different fields such as spectroscopy, telecommunications, imaging, security...The project goal of this thesis was to study and to realize a new type of THz sensor based on asymmetrical nanochannels of two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) also called Self‐Switching‐Devices (SSDs). These new devices have a non-linear I-V characteristics allowing them to operate as quadratic detectors like conventional Schottky diodes.SSDs manufactured by creating – into a heterojunction containing a two-dimensional electron gas — two symmetrical L-shaped insulating trenches arranged in head to tail, present high electron mobility that allows them to work at very high frequencies. Contacts are simply made by metal deposit on each side of the device and the completely planar architecture allows easy downscaling and parallelization. This is a great contrast with the traditional diode, and obviously leads to a significant reduction of the production cost. Moreover, the extremely simple architecture enables a very low parasitic capacitance and therefore a very high operation speed. From Monte Carlo simulations, the device is expected to operate also in the THz frequency range, in which very broad ranges of applications have been visualized.We have developed two experimental benches and demonstrated, in a quasi-optical configuration, free space and at room temperature that gallium nitride (GaN) based SSDs act as rectifying direct detectors and heterodyne detectors up to 0.69 THz. Responsivities of 2 V/W and 0.3 V/W with bandwidths greater than 40 GHz and 13 GHz were obtained in the 0.30 and 0.69 THz ranges, respectively. The characterization of the SSDs as mixers didn't show any deviation from linearity between the THz carrier (RF) input power and the power of the intermediate frequency (IF) signal output. Monte Carlo simulations, used to estimate nano-device intrinsic conversion losses of 27 dB at 0.69 THz, have confirmed these results. As a consequence, the practical implementation of SSDs as mixers of high-power sub-millimetre waves seems feasible. Moreover recent studies of similar GaN-based nanodevices, have demonstrated their possibilities to act as Gunn oscillators that could be active elements in THz emitters. Therefore, the good performances of GaN nanochannels demonstrated in this thesis allow not only the easy integration of antennas for a better free space coupling but also (i) a flexibility in the design of an optimum thermal dissipation and reduction of parasitic effects, and (ii) the possibility to develop a fully integrated emitter/detector submillimeter-wave system working at room temperature.
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Carlos Daher. Etude et réalisation de capteurs térahertz à base de nanocanaux asymétriques de gaz d’électrons bidimensionnel. Electronique. Université Montpellier, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015MONTS121⟩. ⟨tel-01946631⟩

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