Abstract

Laser-induced plasma acoustic waves are enhanced under the illumination of single-cycle terahertz (THz) radiation, making THz-enhanced acoustics (TEA) a useful method for THz wave detection. During a single-cycle THz pulse with its peak field of 100kV/cm, a pressure enhancement of 10% is observed throughout the acoustic spectrum up to 140kHz, and the TEA signal is found to increase linearly with THz wave intensity. By using dual-color laser excitation to manipulate free electron drift, it is possible to modulate the enhanced acoustic signal and recover a coherent THz time-domain waveform by simply “listening” to the plasma.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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