Abstract

Finite pump-beam size in optical pump–terahertz (THz) probe experiments introduces distortions in both the signal amplitude and the spectral form. We show both experimentally and analytically that the pump beam must be 3–4 times larger than the THz probe beam for a one-photon excitation process to achieve <10% spectral distortion. Our experiments use thin samples of single-crystal ZnTe or CdTe. Our model treats the pump-induced change in the THz probe field as radiation from a photoinduced current driven by the THz field. Interpretation of nonideal measurements and relaxation of the requirement on the pump-beam size by introduction of a metallic aperture are also discussed.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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