We report on the room-temperature, resonant detection of femtosecond pulsed terahertz radiation obtained by optical rectification in a ZnTe crystal. The detection was realized using a 250nm gate length GaAsAlGaAs heterostructure field-effect transistor. We show that physical mechanism of the detection is related to the plasma waves excited in the transistor channel. The detection is strongly enhanced by increasing the drain current and driving the transistor into the plasma wave instability region. Our results clearly show that plasma wave nanometer transistors can be efficient and fast detectors for terahertz spectroscopic imaging based on the femtosecond pulsed THz sources.

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