The terahertz region (1-10 THz) of the electromagnetic spectrum offers ample opportunities in spectroscopy, free space communications, remote sensing and medical imaging. Yet, the use of THz radiation in all these fields has been hampered by the lack of appropriate, convenient sources. We here report on unipolar semiconductor injection lasers that emit at THz frequencies (4.3 THz, λ ~ 69μm and 3.5 THz, λ ~ 85μm) and possess the potential for device-like implementation. They are based on the quantum cascade scheme employing interminiband transitions in the technologically mature AlGaAs/GaAs material system and feature a novel kind of waveguide loosely relying on the surface plasmon concpt. Continuous-wave laser emission is achieved with low thresholds of a few hundred A/cm2 up to 45 K heat sink temperature and maximum output powers of more than 4mW. Under pulsed excitation, peak output powers of 4.5mW at low temperatures and still 1 mW at 65 K are measured. The amximum operating temperature is 67 K.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.