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Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Abstract-Strong sub-terahertz surface waves generated on a metal wire by high-intensity laser pulses.
Terahertz pulses trapped as surface waves on a wire waveguide can be flexibly transmitted and focused to sub-wavelength dimensions by using, for example, a tapered tip. This is particularly useful for applications that require high-field pulses. However, the generation of strong terahertz surface waves on a wire waveguide remains a challenge. Here, ultrafast field propagation along a metal wire driven by a femtosecond laser pulse with an intensity of 10(18) W/cm(2) is characterized by femtosecond electron deflectometry. From experimental and numerical results, we conclude that the field propagating at the speed of light is a half-cycle transverse-magnetic surface wave excited on the wire and a considerable portion of the kinetic energy of laser-produced fast electrons can be transferred to the sub-surface wave. The peak electric field strength of the surface wave and the pulse duration are estimated to be 200 MV/m and 7 ps, respectively.