We present an agile optically controlled switch or modulator of terahertz (THz) radiation. The element is based on a one-dimensional photonic crystal with a wafer inserted in the middle as a defect layer. The THz electric field is enhanced in the photonic structure at the surfaces of the wafer. Excitation of the front surface by ultrashort laser pulses then leads to an efficient modulation of the THz beam even at low photocarrier concentrations . The response time of the element to pulsed photoexcitation is about .
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