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In this paper we propose and discuss coherent terahertz sources based on charge density wave (plasmon) amplification in two-dimensional graphene. The coupling of the plasmons to interband electron-hole transitions in population inverted graphene layers can lead to plasmon amplification through stimulated emission. Plasmon gain values in graphene can be very large due to the small group velocity of the plasmons and the strong confinement of the plasmon field in the vicinity of the graphene layer. We present a transmission line model for plasmon propagation in graphene that includes plasmon dissipation and plasmon interband gain due to stimulated emission. Using this model, we discuss design for terahertz plasmon oscillators and derive the threshold condition for oscillation taking into account internal losses and also losses due to external coupling. The threshold condition is shown to depend on the ratio of the external impedance and the characteristic impedance of the plasmon transmission line. The large gain values available at terahertz frequencies in graphene can lead to integrated oscillators that have dimensions in the 1-10 mum range.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2008