Abstract

We optically excite $^{85}{\rm Rb}$ atoms in a heated vapor cell to a low-lying Rydberg state $10{{\rm D}_{5/2}}$ and observe directional terahertz (THz) beams at 3.3 THz and 7.8 THz. These THz fields are generated by amplified spontaneous emission from the $10{{\rm D}_{5/2}}$ state to the $11{{\rm P}_{3/2}}$ and $8{{\rm F}_{7/2}}$ states, respectively. In addition, we observe ultraviolet (UV) light produced by four-wave mixing of optical pump lasers and the 3.3 THz field. We characterize the generated THz power over the detuning and power of pump lasers, and identify experimental conditions favoring THz and UV generation, respectively. Our scheme paves a new pathway towards generating high-power narrowband THz radiation.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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