Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Abstract-Pulse sequences for efficient multi-cycle terahertz generation in periodically poled lithium niobate

Koustuban Ravi, Damian N. Schimpf, and Franz X. Kärtner

The use of laser pulse sequences to drive the cascaded difference frequency generation of high energy, high peak-power and multi-cycle terahertz pulses in cryogenically cooled (100 K) periodically poled Lithium Niobate is proposed and studied. Detailed simulations considering the coupled nonlinear interaction of terahertz and optical waves (or pump depletion), show that unprecedented optical-to-terahertz energy conversion efficiencies > 5%, peak electric fields of hundred(s) of mega volts/meter at terahertz pulse durations of hundred(s) of picoseconds can be achieved. The proposed methods are shown to circumvent laser induced damage limitations at Joule-level pumping by 1µm lasers to enable multi-cycle terahertz sources with pulse energies >> 10 milli-joules. Various pulse sequence formats are proposed and analyzed. Numerical calculations for periodically poled structures accounting for cascaded difference frequency generation, self-phase-modulation, cascaded second harmonic generation and laser induced damage are introduced. The physics governing terahertz generation using pulse sequences in this high conversion efficiency regime, limitations and practical considerations are discussed. It is shown that varying the poling period along the crystal length and further reduction of absorption can lead to even higher energy conversion efficiencies >>10%. In addition to numerical calculations, an analytic formulation valid for arbitrary pulse formats and closed-form expressions for important cases are presented. Parameters optimizing conversion efficiency in the 0.1-1 THz range, the corresponding peak electric fields, crystal lengths and terahertz pulse properties are furnished.
© 2016 Optical Society of America
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