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Cascaded second-order processes for the efficient generation of narrowband terahertz radiation

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Ahr,  Frederike
International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging & Structural Dynamics (IMPRS-UFAST), Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Notkestraße 85, D-22607 Hamburg, Germany;
Physics Department, University of Hamburg, Luruper Chaussee 149, D-22761 Hamburg, Germany;

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Citation

Cirmi, G., Hemmer, M., Ravi, K., Reichert, F., Zapata, L. E., Calendron, A.-L., et al. (2017). Cascaded second-order processes for the efficient generation of narrowband terahertz radiation. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 50(4): 044002. doi:10.1088/1361-6455/aa5405.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-D7AE-0
Abstract
The generation of high-energy narrowband terahertz radiation has gained heightened importance in recent years due to its potentially transformative impact on spectroscopy, high-resolution radar and more recently electron acceleration. Among various applications, such terahertz radiation is particularly important for table-top free electron lasers, which are at the moment a subject of extensive research. Second-order nonlinear optical methods are among the most promising techniques to achieve the required coherent radiation with energy > 10 mJ, peak field > 100 MV m-1, and frequency between 0.1 and 1 THz. However, they are conventionally thought to suffer from low efficiencies < ~10-3, due to the high ratio between optical and terahertz photon energies, in what is known as the Manley-Rowe limitation. In this paper, we review the current second-order nonlinear optical methods for the generation of narrowband terahertz radiation. We explain how to employ spectral cascading to increase the efficiency beyond the Manley-Rowe limit and describe the first experimental results in the direction of a terahertz-cascaded optical parametric amplifier, a novel technique which promises to fully exploit spectral cascading to generate narrowband terahertz radiation with few percent optical-to-terahertz conversion efficiency.