Planar Schottky technology at THz frequencies made tremendous progress in the late 1990’s, principally thanks to the astrophysics community that supported the construction of the heterodyne instrument (HIFI) on the Herschel Space Observatory. These devices played a key role in the building of the local oscillators (LOs) of HIFI since they enabled the design and fabrication of wide-band high efficiency frequency multipliers working up to 1.9 THz. Post Hershel heterodyne instruments onboard space observatories are proposed for the next decades for frequencies up to 6 THz. While THz quantum cascade lasers are seen as the natural choice for LOs at frequencies of 2.7THz and above, Schottky-based multiplied sources made recently an important inroad in the THz range by producing several microwatts of power at room temperature in the 2.48-2.75THz band.
This talk will present recent progress of Schottky planar technology and on circuit design that could lead to the construction of wideband local oscillators at frequencies up to 6 THz. Results obtained at LERMA in partnership with Laboratoire of Photonique and Nanostructures will be presented. Possible implications of this technology in other fields of experimental physics will be discussed.