Abstract

We demonstrate a method for substantially improving the axial resolution of terahertz time-of-flight measurements by analyzing the time-dependent polarization direction of an elliptically polarized single-cycle terahertz electromagnetic (T-ray) pulse. We show that, at its most sensitive, the technique has an axial resolution of λ/1000 (<1μm) with a subsecond measurement time, and very clear T-ray topographic images are obtained. Such a very high axial resolution of the T-ray topography opens the way for novel industrial and biomedical applications such as fine metalworking and corneal inspection in a safe manner.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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