A quantum well (QW) in the simultaneous presence of a terahertz field polarized in the growth direction and an incident optical field near an excitonic resonance results in substantial frequency mixing between the terahertz and optical fields. In particular, a response at new frequencies given by the input optical frequency plus or minus multiples of the terahertz frequency occurs-the terahertz sidebands. In a symmetric QW, the dominant contribution to terahertz-sideband formation is the high-frequency modulation of the overlap integral of the relevant conduction-and valence-subband envelope functions that determine the strength of the interband dipole moment. terahertz-sideband generation is shown to be strongly enhanced in a high quality-factor optical microcavity. Numerical values of the reflected intensity into the first terahertz sideband normalized with respect to the reflected intensity at the fundamental as large as ∼ 10% are estimated. This suggests that terahertz-sideband generation in semiconductor microcavities is a promising option worthy of exploration for wavelength conversion for wavelength-division multiplexing applications.


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