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Frontiers of Optoelectronics

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    2021, Vol.14  No.1

    Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) has proven to be an invaluable tool for the study of elementary and collective excitations in condensed matter systems. Adding a high magnetic field to THz-TDS can lead to further insight into microscopic physics behind complex many-body behaviors of solids and allow one to access new exotic states of matter. Here, we review recent progress in combining THz-TDS and strong magnetic fields in condensed matter spec [Detail] ...

    Table of Contents

, Volume 14 Issue 1

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Intense terahertz radiation: generation and application
Yan ZHANG, Kaixuan LI, Huan ZHAO
Front. Optoelectron.. 2021, 14 (1): 4-36.
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Strong terahertz (THz) radiation provides a powerful tool to manipulate and control complex condensed matter systems. This review provides an overview of progress in the generation, detection, and applications of intense THz radiation. The tabletop intense THz sources based on Ti:sapphire laser are reviewed, including photoconductive antennas (PCAs), optical rectification sources, plasma-based THz sources, and some novel techniques for THz generations, such as topological insulators, spintronic materials, and metasurfaces. The coherent THz detection methods are summarized, and their limitations for intense THz detection are analyzed. Applications of intense THz radiation are introduced, including applications in spectroscopy detection, nonlinear effects, and switching of coherent magnons. The review is concluded with a short perspective on the generation and applications of intense THz radiation.

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Terahertz aqueous photonics
Qi JIN, Yiwen E, Xi-Cheng ZHANG
Front. Optoelectron.. 2021, 14 (1): 37-63.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (3380KB)

Developing efficient and robust terahertz (THz) sources is of incessant interest in the THz community for their wide applications. With successive effort in past decades, numerous groups have achieved THz wave generation from solids, gases, and plasmas. However, liquid, especially liquid water has never been demonstrated as a THz source. One main reason leading the impediment is that water has strong absorption characteristics in the THz frequency regime.

A thin water film under intense laser excitation was introduced as the THz source to mitigate the considerable loss of THz waves from the absorption. Laser-induced plasma formation associated with a ponderomotive force-induced dipole model was proposed to explain the generation process. For the one-color excitation scheme, the water film generates a higher THz electric field than the air does under the identical experimental condition. Unlike the case of air, THz wave generation from liquid water prefers a sub-picosecond (200−800 fs) laser pulse rather than a femtosecond pulse (~50 fs). This observation results from the plasma generation process in water.

For the two-color excitation scheme, the THz electric field is enhanced by one-order of magnitude in comparison with the one-color case. Meanwhile, coherent control of the THz field is achieved by adjusting the relative phase between the fundamental pulse and the second-harmonic pulse.

To eliminate the total internal reflection of THz waves at the water-air interface of a water film, a water line produced by a syringe needle was used to emit THz waves. As expected, more THz radiation can be coupled out and detected. THz wave generation from other liquids were also tested.

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Intense terahertz generation from photoconductive antennas
Elchin ISGANDAROV, Xavier ROPAGNOL, Mangaljit SINGH, Tsuneyuki OZAKI
Front. Optoelectron.. 2021, 14 (1): 64-93.
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In this paper, we review the past and recent works on generating intense terahertz (THz) pulses from photoconductive antennas (PCAs). We will focus on two types of large-aperture photoconductive antenna (LAPCA) that can generate high-intensity THz pulses (a) those with large-aperture dipoles and (b) those with interdigitated electrodes. We will first describe the principles of THz generation from PCAs. The critical parameters for improving the peak intensity of THz radiation from LAPCAs are summarized. We will then describe the saturation and limitation process of LAPCAs along with the advantages and disadvantages of working with wide-bandgap semiconductor substrates. Then, we will explain the evolution of LAPCA with interdigitated electrodes, which allows one to reduce the photoconductive gap size, and thus obtain higher bias fields while applying lower voltages. We will also describe recent achievements in intense THz pulses generated by interdigitated LAPCAs based on wide-bandgap semiconductors driven by amplified lasers. Finally, we will discuss the future perspectives of THz pulse generation using LAPCAs.

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Terahertz quantum cascade lasers with sampled lateral gratings for single mode operation
Dixiang SHAO, Chen YAO, Zhanglong FU, Wenjian WAN, Ziping LI, Juncheng CAO
Front. Optoelectron.. 2021, 14 (1): 94-98.
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In this paper, we presented single mode terahertz quantum cascade lasers (THz QCLs) with sampled lateral grating emitting approximately 3.4 THz. Due to strong mode selection, the implementation of sampled lateral grating on THz QCL ridges can result in stable single longitudinal mode emission with a side-mode suppression ratio larger than 20 dB. The measured peak power of the grating laser is improved by about 11.8% compared to the power of devices with uniform distributed feedback gratings. Furthermore, the far-field pattern of the presented device is uninfluenced by grating structures.

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Nonlinear effects in topological materials
Front. Optoelectron.. 2021, 14 (1): 99-109.
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Materials, where charge carriers have a linear energy dispersion, usually exhibit a strong nonlinear optical response in the absence of disorder scattering. This nonlinear response is particularly interesting in the terahertz frequency region. We present a theoretical and numerical investigation of charge transport and nonlinear effects, such as the high harmonic generation in topological materials including Weyl semimetals (WSMs) and a-T3 systems. The nonlinear optical conductivity is calculated both semi-classically using the velocity operator and quantum mechanically using the density matrix. We show that the nonlinear response is strongly dependent on temperature and topological parameters, such as the Weyl point (WP) separation b and Berry phase φB. A finite spectral gap opening can further modify the nonlinear effects. Under certain parameters, universal behaviors of both the linear and nonlinear response can be observed. Coupled with experimentally accessible critical field values of 104 105V/m, our results provide useful information on developing nonlinear optoelectronic devices based on topological materials.

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Time-domain terahertz spectroscopy in high magnetic fields
Andrey BAYDIN, Takuma MAKIHARA, Nicolas Marquez PERACA, Junichiro KONO
Front. Optoelectron.. 2021, 14 (1): 110-129.
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There are a variety of elementary and collective terahertz-frequency excitations in condensed matter whose magnetic field dependence contains significant insight into the states and dynamics of the electrons involved. Often, determining the frequency, temperature, and magnetic field dependence of the optical conductivity tensor, especially in high magnetic fields, can clarify the microscopic physics behind complex many-body behaviors of solids. While there are advanced terahertz spectroscopy techniques as well as high magnetic field generation techniques available, a combination of the two has only been realized relatively recently. Here, we review the current state of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) experiments in high magnetic fields. We start with an overview of time-domain terahertz detection schemes with a special focus on how they have been incorporated into optically accessible high-field magnets. Advantages and disadvantages of different types of magnets in performing THz-TDS experiments are also discussed. Finally, we highlight some of the new fascinating physical phenomena that have been revealed by THz-TDS in high magnetic fields.

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7 articles