Abstract

For optimal sensitivity in electric field measurements, electro-optic (EO) crystals are typically selected based on their EO coefficients and dielectric constants. However, the conventional figure of merit yields sensitivity predictions regarding EO materials that are inconsistent with experimental data. In this Letter, we demonstrate that depolarization effects, which are often ignored, can dramatically enhance responsivity depending on the shape and orientation of the EO crystal. For optimal sensitivity, these effects are best exploited in longitudinal EO sensors, where they yield an optical modulation depth that increases quadratically with crystal length.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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