PhD Thesis Defenses

Superradiant THz wave emission from arrays of Josephson junctions

High-power, continuous-wave, compact and tunable THz sources are needed for a large variety of applications. Development of power-efficient sources of electromagnetic radiation in the 0.1-10 THz range is a difficult technological problem, known as the “THz gap.” Josephson junctions allow creation of monochromatic THz sources with an inherently broad range of tunability. However, emission power from a single junction is too small. It can be amplified in a coherent superradiant manner by phase-locking of many junctions. In this case, the emission power should increase as a Square of the number of phase-locked junctions.The aim of this thesis is to study a possibility of achieving coherent superradiant emission with significant power and frequency tunability from Joseph-son junction arrays. Two types of devices are studied, based either on stacks (one-dimensional arrays) of intrinsic Josephson junctions naturally formed in single Crystals of high-temperature cuprate superconductor Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+x, or two-dimensional arrays of artificial low-temperature superconducting Nb/NbSi/Nb junctions. Micron-size junctions are fabricated using micro- and nanofabrication tools.The first chapter of this thesis describes the theory of Josephson junctions and how mutual coupling between Josephson junctions can lead to self-syn-chronization, facilitating the superradiant emission of electromagnetic radia-tion. The second chapter is focused on the technical aspects of this work, with detailed descriptions of sample fabrication and experimental techniques. The third chapter presents main results and discussion. It is demonstrated that de-vices based on high-Tc cuprates allow tunable emission in a very broad fre-quency range 1-11 THz. For low- Tc junction arrays synchronization of up to 9000 junctions is successfully achieved. It is argued that an unconventional traveling-waves mechanism facilitates the phase-locking of such huge arrays. The obtained results confirm a possibility of creation of high-power, continu-ouswave, compact and tunable THz sources, based on arrays of Josephson junctions.