Abstract

The integration of ambient air plasmas as source and sensor in terahertz time-domain techniques allows spectral measurements covering the elusive terahertz gap (0.1–10 THz), further increasing the impact of those scientific tools in the study of the four states of matter. In this article we describe the experimental study of the terahertz emission from a laser-induced plasma of submillimeter size. The main direction of emission is almost orthogonal to the laser propagation direction, unlike that of elongated plasmas. We show that laser pulse energies lower than 1 μJ are sufficient to generate measurable terahertz pulses from ambient air. This significant decrease in the required laser energy will make plasma-based terahertz techniques more accessible to the scientific community.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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References

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C. D’Amico, A. Houard, S. Akturk, Y. Liu, J. Le Bloas, M. Franco, B. Prade, A. Couairon, V. T. Tikhonchuk, A. Mysyrowicz, New J. Phys. 10, 013015 (2008).
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A. I. McIntosh, B. Yang, S. M. Goldup, M. Watkinson, R. S. Donnan, Chem. Soc. Rev. 41, 2072 (2012).
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Eden, S.

Ehrke, H.

C. Kübler, H. Ehrke, R. Huber, R. Lopez, A. Halabica, R. Haglund, A. Leitenstorfer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 116401 (2007).
[Crossref]

Falcone, R.

H. Hamster, A. Sullivan, S. Gordon, R. Falcone, Phys. Rev. E 49, 671 (1994).
[Crossref]

H. Hamster, A. Sullivan, S. Gordon, W. White, R. Falcone, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2725 (1993).
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A. G. Davies, A. D. Burnett, W. Fan, E. H. Linfield, J. E. Cunningham, Mater. Today 11(3), 18 (2008).
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Fattinger, C.

Fitch, M. J.

M. R. Leahy-Hoppa, M. J. Fitch, X. Zheng, L. M. Hayden, R. Osiander, Chem. Phys. Lett. 434, 227 (2007).
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N. Karpowicz, J. Dai, X. Lu, Y. Chen, M. Yamaguchi, H. Zhao, X.-C. Zhang, L. Zhang, C. Zhang, M. Price-Gallagher, C. Fletcher, O. Mamer, A. Lesimple, K. Johnson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 011131 (2008).
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C. D’Amico, A. Houard, S. Akturk, Y. Liu, J. Le Bloas, M. Franco, B. Prade, A. Couairon, V. T. Tikhonchuk, A. Mysyrowicz, New J. Phys. 10, 013015 (2008).
[Crossref]

C. D’Amico, A. Houard, M. Franco, B. Prade, A. Mysyrowicz, A. Couairon, V. Tikhonchuk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 235002 (2007).
[Crossref]

Goldup, S. M.

A. I. McIntosh, B. Yang, S. M. Goldup, M. Watkinson, R. S. Donnan, Chem. Soc. Rev. 41, 2072 (2012).
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Gordon, S.

H. Hamster, A. Sullivan, S. Gordon, R. Falcone, Phys. Rev. E 49, 671 (1994).
[Crossref]

H. Hamster, A. Sullivan, S. Gordon, W. White, R. Falcone, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2725 (1993).
[Crossref]

Grischkowsky, D.

Haglund, R.

C. Kübler, H. Ehrke, R. Huber, R. Lopez, A. Halabica, R. Haglund, A. Leitenstorfer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 116401 (2007).
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C. Kübler, H. Ehrke, R. Huber, R. Lopez, A. Halabica, R. Haglund, A. Leitenstorfer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 116401 (2007).
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H. Hamster, A. Sullivan, S. Gordon, R. Falcone, Phys. Rev. E 49, 671 (1994).
[Crossref]

H. Hamster, A. Sullivan, S. Gordon, W. White, R. Falcone, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2725 (1993).
[Crossref]

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C. V. McLaughlin, L. M. Hayden, B. Polishak, S. Huang, J. Luo, T.-D. Kim, A. K.-Y. Jen, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 151107 (2008).
[Crossref]

M. R. Leahy-Hoppa, M. J. Fitch, X. Zheng, L. M. Hayden, R. Osiander, Chem. Phys. Lett. 434, 227 (2007).
[Crossref]

Heinz, T. F.

R. Ulbricht, E. Hendry, J. Shan, T. F. Heinz, M. Bonn, Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 543 (2011).
[Crossref]

Hendry, E.

R. Ulbricht, E. Hendry, J. Shan, T. F. Heinz, M. Bonn, Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 543 (2011).
[Crossref]

Higuchi, T.

M. Sato, T. Higuchi, N. Kanda, K. Konishi, K. Yoshioka, T. Suzuki, K. Misawa, M. Kuwata-Gonokami, Nat. Photonics 7, 724 (2013).
[Crossref]

Hochstrasser, R. M.

Houard, A.

C. D’Amico, A. Houard, S. Akturk, Y. Liu, J. Le Bloas, M. Franco, B. Prade, A. Couairon, V. T. Tikhonchuk, A. Mysyrowicz, New J. Phys. 10, 013015 (2008).
[Crossref]

C. D’Amico, A. Houard, M. Franco, B. Prade, A. Mysyrowicz, A. Couairon, V. Tikhonchuk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 235002 (2007).
[Crossref]

Huang, S.

C. V. McLaughlin, L. M. Hayden, B. Polishak, S. Huang, J. Luo, T.-D. Kim, A. K.-Y. Jen, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 151107 (2008).
[Crossref]

Huber, R.

C. Kübler, H. Ehrke, R. Huber, R. Lopez, A. Halabica, R. Haglund, A. Leitenstorfer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 116401 (2007).
[Crossref]

Jen, A. K.-Y.

C. V. McLaughlin, L. M. Hayden, B. Polishak, S. Huang, J. Luo, T.-D. Kim, A. K.-Y. Jen, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 151107 (2008).
[Crossref]

Jepsen, P. U.

P. U. Jepsen, D. G. Cooke, M. Koch, Laser Photon. Rev. 5, 124 (2011).

Johnson, K.

N. Karpowicz, J. Dai, X. Lu, Y. Chen, M. Yamaguchi, H. Zhao, X.-C. Zhang, L. Zhang, C. Zhang, M. Price-Gallagher, C. Fletcher, O. Mamer, A. Lesimple, K. Johnson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 011131 (2008).
[Crossref]

Kanda, N.

M. Sato, T. Higuchi, N. Kanda, K. Konishi, K. Yoshioka, T. Suzuki, K. Misawa, M. Kuwata-Gonokami, Nat. Photonics 7, 724 (2013).
[Crossref]

Karpowicz, N.

X. Lu, N. Karpowicz, Y. Chen, X.-C. Zhang, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 261106 (2008).
[Crossref]

N. Karpowicz, J. Dai, X. Lu, Y. Chen, M. Yamaguchi, H. Zhao, X.-C. Zhang, L. Zhang, C. Zhang, M. Price-Gallagher, C. Fletcher, O. Mamer, A. Lesimple, K. Johnson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 011131 (2008).
[Crossref]

H. Zhong, N. Karpowicz, X.-C. Zhang, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 261103 (2006).
[Crossref]

Kim, K. Y.

Y. S. You, T. I. Oh, K. Y. Kim, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 183902 (2012).
[Crossref]

Kim, T.-D.

C. V. McLaughlin, L. M. Hayden, B. Polishak, S. Huang, J. Luo, T.-D. Kim, A. K.-Y. Jen, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 151107 (2008).
[Crossref]

Koch, M.

P. U. Jepsen, D. G. Cooke, M. Koch, Laser Photon. Rev. 5, 124 (2011).

Kolner, B. H.

B. H. Kolner, R. A. Buckles, P. M. Conklin, R. P. Scott, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 14, 505 (2008).
[Crossref]

Konishi, K.

M. Sato, T. Higuchi, N. Kanda, K. Konishi, K. Yoshioka, T. Suzuki, K. Misawa, M. Kuwata-Gonokami, Nat. Photonics 7, 724 (2013).
[Crossref]

Kress, M.

Kübler, C.

C. Kübler, H. Ehrke, R. Huber, R. Lopez, A. Halabica, R. Haglund, A. Leitenstorfer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 116401 (2007).
[Crossref]

Kuwata-Gonokami, M.

M. Sato, T. Higuchi, N. Kanda, K. Konishi, K. Yoshioka, T. Suzuki, K. Misawa, M. Kuwata-Gonokami, Nat. Photonics 7, 724 (2013).
[Crossref]

Lavrinenko, A. V.

M. Zalkovskij, C. Zoffmann Bisgaard, A. Novitsky, R. Malureanu, D. Savastru, A. Popescu, P. Uhd Jepsen, A. V. Lavrinenko, Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 031901 (2012).
[Crossref]

Le Bloas, J.

C. D’Amico, A. Houard, S. Akturk, Y. Liu, J. Le Bloas, M. Franco, B. Prade, A. Couairon, V. T. Tikhonchuk, A. Mysyrowicz, New J. Phys. 10, 013015 (2008).
[Crossref]

Leahy-Hoppa, M. R.

M. R. Leahy-Hoppa, M. J. Fitch, X. Zheng, L. M. Hayden, R. Osiander, Chem. Phys. Lett. 434, 227 (2007).
[Crossref]

Leitenstorfer, A.

C. Kübler, H. Ehrke, R. Huber, R. Lopez, A. Halabica, R. Haglund, A. Leitenstorfer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 116401 (2007).
[Crossref]

Lesimple, A.

N. Karpowicz, J. Dai, X. Lu, Y. Chen, M. Yamaguchi, H. Zhao, X.-C. Zhang, L. Zhang, C. Zhang, M. Price-Gallagher, C. Fletcher, O. Mamer, A. Lesimple, K. Johnson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 011131 (2008).
[Crossref]

Linfield, E. H.

A. G. Davies, A. D. Burnett, W. Fan, E. H. Linfield, J. E. Cunningham, Mater. Today 11(3), 18 (2008).
[Crossref]

Liu, J.

J. Liu, X. C. Zhang, J. Appl. Phys. 106, 023107 (2009).
[Crossref]

Liu, Y.

C. D’Amico, A. Houard, S. Akturk, Y. Liu, J. Le Bloas, M. Franco, B. Prade, A. Couairon, V. T. Tikhonchuk, A. Mysyrowicz, New J. Phys. 10, 013015 (2008).
[Crossref]

Löffler, T.

Lopez, R.

C. Kübler, H. Ehrke, R. Huber, R. Lopez, A. Halabica, R. Haglund, A. Leitenstorfer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 116401 (2007).
[Crossref]

Lu, X.

N. Karpowicz, J. Dai, X. Lu, Y. Chen, M. Yamaguchi, H. Zhao, X.-C. Zhang, L. Zhang, C. Zhang, M. Price-Gallagher, C. Fletcher, O. Mamer, A. Lesimple, K. Johnson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 011131 (2008).
[Crossref]

X. Lu, N. Karpowicz, Y. Chen, X.-C. Zhang, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 261106 (2008).
[Crossref]

Luo, J.

C. V. McLaughlin, L. M. Hayden, B. Polishak, S. Huang, J. Luo, T.-D. Kim, A. K.-Y. Jen, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 151107 (2008).
[Crossref]

Malureanu, R.

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Appl. Phys. Lett. (7)

N. Karpowicz, J. Dai, X. Lu, Y. Chen, M. Yamaguchi, H. Zhao, X.-C. Zhang, L. Zhang, C. Zhang, M. Price-Gallagher, C. Fletcher, O. Mamer, A. Lesimple, K. Johnson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 011131 (2008).
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[Crossref]

C. V. McLaughlin, L. M. Hayden, B. Polishak, S. Huang, J. Luo, T.-D. Kim, A. K.-Y. Jen, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 151107 (2008).
[Crossref]

Y. Chen, M. Yamaguchi, M. Wang, X.-C. Zhang, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 251116 (2007).
[Crossref]

X. Lu, N. Karpowicz, Y. Chen, X.-C. Zhang, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 261106 (2008).
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Q. Wu, X.-C. Zhang, Appl. Phys. Lett. 67, 3523 (1995).
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H. Zhong, N. Karpowicz, X.-C. Zhang, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 261103 (2006).
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Chem. Phys. Lett. (1)

M. R. Leahy-Hoppa, M. J. Fitch, X. Zheng, L. M. Hayden, R. Osiander, Chem. Phys. Lett. 434, 227 (2007).
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Chem. Soc. Rev. (1)

A. I. McIntosh, B. Yang, S. M. Goldup, M. Watkinson, R. S. Donnan, Chem. Soc. Rev. 41, 2072 (2012).
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IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. (1)

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M. Sato, T. Higuchi, N. Kanda, K. Konishi, K. Yoshioka, T. Suzuki, K. Misawa, M. Kuwata-Gonokami, Nat. Photonics 7, 724 (2013).
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New J. Phys. (1)

C. D’Amico, A. Houard, S. Akturk, Y. Liu, J. Le Bloas, M. Franco, B. Prade, A. Couairon, V. T. Tikhonchuk, A. Mysyrowicz, New J. Phys. 10, 013015 (2008).
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Opt. Express (1)

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H. Hamster, A. Sullivan, S. Gordon, R. Falcone, Phys. Rev. E 49, 671 (1994).
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Phys. Rev. Lett. (7)

X. Xie, J. Dai, X.-C. Zhang, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 075005 (2006).
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C. D’Amico, A. Houard, M. Franco, B. Prade, A. Mysyrowicz, A. Couairon, V. Tikhonchuk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 235002 (2007).
[Crossref]

Y. S. You, T. I. Oh, K. Y. Kim, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 183902 (2012).
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M. Nuss, D. Auston, F. Capasso, Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 2355 (1987).
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J. Dai, X. Xie, X.-C. Zhang, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 103903 (2006).
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R. Ulbricht, E. Hendry, J. Shan, T. F. Heinz, M. Bonn, Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 543 (2011).
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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

THz waves are emitted by the ambient air microplasma obtained by focusing the laser excitation through a high-NA objective. A silicon wafer is inserted in the THz path to block the pump beam. The waveforms are retrieved with electro-optic sampling. The THz generation portion of the setup can be rotated about the position of the microplasma in order to study the angle-dependent emission from the source. The inset is a picture of the microplasma created by focusing laser pulses with energy of 65 μJ through a 0.85 NA air-immersion objective as seen through a UV bandpass filter. The laser excitation propagates from right to left. The plasma is imaged from the side with a commercial iCCD camera. The fluorescence profile is Gaussian. The FWHM for the longitudinal and the transverse fluorescence intensity profile is 36.7 ± 8.7 μm and 28.5 ± 8.7 μm , respectively. HWP, half-wave plate; OBJ, objective; OAPM, off-axis parabolic mirror; POL, THz polarizer.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

(a) Density plot representing the coherent angle-dependent emission from a microplasma generated with laser pulse energy of 65 μJ. The plot is obtained through spline interpolation of ten THz waveforms recorded at different detection angles in 10 deg intervals starting from zero. Each waveform is normalized to the highest value of THz field recorded in the set. Δ t is the time delay between the pump and the probe beam. (b) THz pulse energy as a function of detection angle. The pulse energy is extracted from the THz waveforms displayed in (a). The solid line is the experimental data, while the dashed line is the simulation obtained with the model described in [29].

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

(a) Measured THz waveforms at detection angle of 80 deg for a laser pulse energy of 65 μJ (top) and of 660 nJ (bottom). For clarity, the plots are offset and the waveform measured at 660 nJ is magnified 600 times. (b) Spectral amplitude of the THz waveform measured at detection angle of 80 deg for a laser pulse energy of 65 μJ (solid line), and of the noise at the detector (dashed line).

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

THz peak power as a function of laser pulse energy for a detection angle of 80 deg. The dots are the experimental data, while the solid line is a quadratic fit.

Equations (3)

Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.

P THz ( W · NA · λ ) 2 τ 4 ,
d 2 W THz d ω d Ω | j z ( ω ) | 2 f ( ω , θ , L ) ,
f ( ω , θ , L ) = sin 2 θ ( 1 cos θ ) 2 sin 2 ( L ω 2 c ( 1 cos θ ) ) ,

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