Hyperspectral time-domain terahertz nano-imaging

N. A. Aghamiri, F. Huth, A. J. Huber, A. Fali, R. Hillenbrand, and Y. Abate

Optics Express 27, 24231 (2019)
Terahertz (THz) near-field microscopy has wide and unprecedented application potential for nanoscale materials and photonic-device characterization. Here, we introduce hyperspectral THz nano-imaging by combining scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) with THz time-domain spectroscopy (TDS). We describe the technical implementations that enabled this achievement and demonstrate its performance with a heterogeneously doped Si semiconductor sample. Specifically, we recorded a hyperspectral image of 40 by 20 pixels in 180 minutes and with a spatial resolution of about ~170 nm by measuring at each pixel with a time domain spectrum covering the range from 0.4 to 1.8 THz. Fitting the spectra with a Drude model allows for measuring—noninvasively and without the need for Ohmic contacts—the local mobile carrier concentration of the differently doped Si areas. We envision wide application potential for THz hyperspectral nano-imaging, including nanoscale carrier profiling of industrial semiconductor structures or characterizing complex and correlated electron matter, as well as low dimensional (1D or 2D) materials.