Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Abstract-Real-time near-field terahertz imaging with atomic optical fluorescence

Terahertz (THz) near-field imaging is a flourishing discipline with applications from fundamental studies of beam propagation to the characterization of metamaterials and waveguides. Beating the diffraction limit typically involves rastering structures or detectors with length scale shorter than the radiation wavelength; in the THz domain this has been achieved using a number of techniques including scattering tips and apertures. Alternatively, mapping THz fields onto an optical wavelength and imaging the visible light removes the requirement for scanning a local probe, speeding up image collection times. Here, we report THz-to-optical conversion using a gas of highly excited Rydberg atoms. By collecting THz-induced optical fluorescence we demonstrate a real-time image of a THz standing wave and use well-known atomic properties to calibrate the THz field strength.

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