Abstract

Emission of pulses of electromagnetic radiation in the terahertz range is observed when ultrathin gold films on glass are illuminated with femtosecond near-IR laser pulses. A distinct maximum is observed in the emitted terahertz amplitude from films of average thickness just above the percolation threshold. Our measurements suggest that the emission is through a second-order nonlinear optical rectification process, enhanced by the excitation of localized surface plasmon hot spots on the percolated metal film.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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