F. Qiu, G. You, Z. Tan, W. Wan, C. Wang, X. Liu, X. Chen, R. Liu, H. Tao, Z. Fu, H. Li and J. Cao
iScience 25, 104637 (2022)
We demonstrate the successful implementation of a terahertz (THz) quantum-well photodetector (QWP) for effective signal collection in a scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscope (s-SNOM) system. The light source is an electrically pumped THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) at 4.2 THz, which spectrally matches with the peak photoresponse of THz QWP. The sensitive THz QWP has a low noise equivalent power (NEP) of about 1.1 pW/Hz0.5 and a spectral response range from 2 to 7 THz. The fast-responding capability of the THz QWP is vital for detecting the rapidly tip-modulated THz light which can effectively suppress the background noise. The THz images of the nanostructure demonstrate a spatial resolution of about 95 nm, corresponding to ∼λ/752 at 4.2 THz. We experimentally investigate and theoretically interpret the formation of the fringes which appear at the edge position of a gold stripe in the THz near-field image.