Abstract

We experimentally investigate the limits of 800-nm-to-terahertz (THz) energy conversion in lithium niobate at room temperature driven by amplified Ti:sapphire laser pulses with tilted pulse front. The influence of the pump central wavelength, pulse duration, and fluence on THz generation is studied. We achieved a high peak efficiency of 0.12% using transform limited 150 fs pulses and observed saturation of the optical-to-THz conversion efficiency at a fluence of 15mJ/cm2 for this pulse duration. We experimentally identify two main limitations for the scaling of optical-to-THz conversion efficiencies: (i) the large spectral broadening of the optical pump spectrum in combination with large angular dispersion of the tilted pulse front and (ii) free-carrier absorption of THz radiation due to multi-photon absorption of the 800 nm radiation.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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