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Ultrafast imaging of terahertz waves Open Access


Other title
ultrafast imaging
terahertz Cherenkov radiation
terahertz time-domain spectroscopy
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Wang, Zhenyou
Supervisor and department
Frank A. Hegmann, Department of Physics
Examining committee member and department
Mark R. Freeman, Department of Physics
Paul C. M. Planken, Delft University of Technology
Richard D. Sydora, Department of Physics
Vadim A. Kravchinsky, Department of Physics
Ray Decorby, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Frank A. Hegmann, Department of Physics
Department of Physics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The main purpose of this thesis is to develop terahertz (THz) generation, detection, and spectroscopy techniques via ultrafast imaging methods. Sampling THz pulse waveforms with anoncollinear imaging technique was carried out. Full-field images of the THz electric field waveforms sampled in E-mode can be used to performTHz spectroscopy, but multi-shots are required. On the other hand, the square of the THz electric field waveforms is obtained in a single shot in E2-mode, which enables single-shot THz spectroscopy of the transmitted THz power spectra. In order to study the THz generation process by optical rectification in LiNbO3crystals, we developed a novel transverse imaging technique to image the THz Cherenkov wave in side-view mode and top-view mode. Based on the images of the THz Cherenkov wave generated by the point focused optical pump pulse, parameters including the Cherenkov angleand group and phase velocities of the optical pump pulse and THz pulse, respectively,aremeasured directly. A transition-like radiation generated at the crystal boundary is imaged for the first time. Imaging distortionsdue to the transverse imaging geometry aresimulated and a correction chart is made. We also imaged THz pulses generated with the titled-pulse-front excitation technique in real time. The real time visualization ofTHz pulse generation and propagation in LiNbO3crystals enables us to optimize the THz pulse generation efficiency in a more directway. Based on the transverse imaging technique, THz pulse reflection, transmission, and tunneling in various conditions are imaged, which may be useful in physics teaching demonstrations. Applications of the transverse imaging technique to image THz generation inperiodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN), air plasmasgenerated by femtosecond laser pulses, and nonlinear optical Kerr effect signals induced by femtosecond laser pulses in CS2, quartz,water, methanol, and THFare explored. Finally, a new type of free-standing, frameless carbon nanotube array THz polarizer is fabricated and tested.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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