A new route to efficient generation of THz pulses with high-energy was demonstrated using semiconductor materials pumped at an infrared wavelength sufficiently long to suppress both two- and three-photon absorption and associated free-carrier absorption at THz frequencies. For pumping beyond the three-photon absorption edge, the THz generation efficiency for optical rectification of femtosecond laser pulses with tilted intensity front in ZnTe was shown to increase 3.5 times, as compared to pumping below the absorption edge. The four-photon absorption coefficient of ZnTe was estimated to be β4=(4±1)×10-5 cm5/GW3. THz pulses with 14 μJ energy were generated with as high as 0.7% efficiency in ZnTe pumped at 1.7 μm. It is shown that scaling the THz pulse energy to the mJ level by increasing the pump spot size and pump pulse energy is feasible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics