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THz Plasma Waves in Field-Effect-Transistors: A Monte Carlo Study
Sensing with electromagnetic waves having frequencies in the Terahertz-range is a very attractive investigative method with applications in fundamental research and industrial settings. Up to now, a lot of sources and detectors are available. However, most of these systems are bulky and have to be used in controllable environments such as laboratories. In 1993 Dyakonov and Shur suggested that plasma waves developing in field-effect-transistors can be used to emit and detect THz-radiation. Later on, it was shown that these plasma waves lead to rectification and allows for building efficient detectors. In contrast to the prediction that these plasma waves lead to new promising solid-state sources, only a few weak sources are known up to now. This work studies THz plasma waves in semiconductor devices using the Monte Carlo method in order to resolve this issue. A fast Monte Carlo solver was developed implementing a nonparabolic bandstructure representation of the used semiconductors. By investigating simplified field-effect-transistors it was found that the plasma frequency follows under equilibrium conditions the analytical predictions. However, no current oscillations were found at room temperature or with a current flowing in the channel. For more complex structures, consisting of ungated and gated regions, it was found that the plasma frequency does not follow the value predicted by the dispersion relation of the gated nor the ungated device.