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Monday, December 7, 2015
Abstract-Terahertz radiation-induced sub-cycle field electron emission across a split-gap dipole antenna
We use intense terahertz pulses to excite the resonant mode (0.6 THz) of a micro-fabricated dipole antenna with a vacuum gap. The dipole antenna structure enhances the peak amplitude of the in-gap THz electric field by a factor of ∼170. Above an in-gap E-field threshold amplitude of ∼10 MV/cm−1, THz-induced field electron emission is observed as indicated by the field-induced electric current across the dipole antenna gap. Field emission occurs within a fraction of the driving THz period. Our analysis of the current (I) and incident electric field (E) is in agreement with a Millikan-Lauritsen analysis where log (I) exhibits a linear dependence on 1/E. Numerical estimates indicate that the electrons are accelerated to a value of approximately one tenth of the speed of light.