Abstract

We present a general analysis of the influence of nonlinear optical absorption on terahertz generation via optical-difference frequency generation when reaching for the quantum conversion efficiency limit. By casting the equations governing the process in a suitably normalized form, including either two-photon- or three-photon absorption terms, we have been able to plot universal charts for phase-matched optical-to-terahertz conversion for different values of the nonlinear absorption coefficients. We apply our analysis to some experiments reported to date in order to understand to what extent multiphoton absorption could have played a role and also to predict the maximum achievable conversion efficiency at higher peak pump intensities.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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