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Advanced emitters and detectors for terahertz time-domain spectroscopy
Peter, F.
Abstract: The idea of terahertz-time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) is to exploit a single cycle, spectrally broad THz radiation pulse to gain insight into the response of matter. Photoconductive devices and nonlinear crystals are utilized in both the generation as well as the coherent detection of THz radiation. The relatively high cost and the complexity of commonly used titanium-sapphire lasers hinder a more widespread use of pulsed THz systems for commercial applications. Er-doped femtosecond fiber lasers operating at 1.55 μm could offer a viable alternative. In this thesis nonlinear crystals and photoconductive emitters are discussed for excitation in the near infrared (NIR) window of between 800 nm to 1550 nm. The main focus of this thesis is a detailed study of substrate materials for an interdigitated photoconductive antenna. Photoconductive antennas with microstructured electrodes provide high electric acceleration fields at moderate voltages because of small electrode separations. The scalability of these devices allows for large active areas in the mm^2 range, which are sufficient for excitation at large optical powers. In comparison with conventional emitter structures, these antennas have more favourable characteristics regarding THz power, spectral properties, and ease of handling. Depending on the utilized substrate material, photoconductive antennas can then be operated using different excitation wavelengths. By employing substrates with short carrier trapping times these antennas can be operated as THz-detectors. Moreover the design of electrode structures for generating radially and azimuthally polarized THz waves are presented. A second topic deals with the signal analysis and signal interpretation of THz pulses transmitted through several material systems. These experiments show the potential for tomographic and spectroscopic applications. The third part deals with THz emission by frequency mixing in nonlinear organic and inorganic crystals. Hereby the focus is on polaritonic phase matching in GaAs. Furthermore, indications of THz tunability by the excitation wavelength were found by utilizing waveguide structures. However, the observed tuning range is much lower then theoretically predicted. Specific reasons for this are discussed.
Keywords: infrared spectroscopy, terahertz, photoconductive devices, nonlinear optics
  • Open Access LogoWissenschaftlich-Technische Berichte / Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf; FZD-538 2010
    ISSN: 1437-322X

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