Direct Observation of Tetrahertz Electromagnetic Waves Emitted from Intrinsic Josephson Junctions in Single Crystalline Bi₂Sr₂CaCu₂O8+δ


We have observed intense, coherent, continuous and monochromatic electromagnetic (EM) emission at terahertz frequencies generated from a single crystalline mesa structure of the high-Tc superconductor Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ intrinsic Josephson junction system. The mesa is fabricated by the Argon-ion-milling and photolithography techniques on the cleaved surface of Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ single crystal. The frequency, ν, of the EM radiation observed from the sample obeys simple relations: ν = c/nλ = c/2nw and ν = 2eV/hN, where c is the light velocity in vacuum, n the refractive index of a superconductor, λ the wave length of the EM emission in vacuum, w the shorter width of the mesa, V the voltage applied to the mesa, N the number of layers of intrinsic Josephson junctions, e and h are the elementary charge and the Planck constant, respectively. These two relations strongly imply that the mechanism of the emission is, firstly, due to the geometrical resonance of EM waves to the mesa like a cavity resonance occuring in the mesa structure, and forming standing waves as cavity resonance modes, and secondly, due to the ac-Josephson effect, which works coherently in all intrinsic Josephson junctions. The peculiar temperature dependence of the power intensity emitted form samples shows a broad maximum in a temperature region between 20 and 40 K, suggesting that the nonequilibrium effect plays an essential role for the emission of EM waves in this system. The estimated total power is significantly improved in comparison with the previous report [L. Ozyuzer et al., Science 318 (2007) 1291, K. Kadowaki, et al., Physica C 437-438 (2006) 111, I.E. Batov, et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 88 (2006) 262504], and reached as high as 5 μW from single mesa with w = 60 μm at 648 GHz, which enables us to use it for some of applications. So far, we succeeded in fabricating the mesa emitting EM waves up to 960 GHz in the fundamental mode in the w = 40 μm mesa, whereas the higher harmonics up to the 4-th order were observed, resulting in a frequency exceeding 2.5 THz. In sharp contrast to the previous reports [K. Kadowaki, et al., Physica C 437-438 (2006) 111, M.-H. Bae, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, (2007) 027002], all the present measurements were done in zero magnetic field. Lastly, a plausible theoretical model for the mechanism of emission is discussed.



Second Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bismuth compounds; Crystal structure; Harmonic generation; Josephson junction devices; Natural frequencies; Photolithography; Single crystals; Intrinsic Josephson junctions; Nonequilibrium effects; Electromagnetic wave emission

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2008 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2008