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Theoretical investigations of terahertz generation in laser-induced microplasmas

Abstract : We investigate terahertz (THz) generation in fs-laser-induced microplasmas, which are promising candidates for compact and efficient broadband THz sources (0.3-30 THz). Such sources have various applications as spectroscopic identification of hazardous substances or THz imaging in biology and medicine. Unlike conventional THz sources as photoconductive switches, gas-plasma-based THz sources do not suffer from irreversible material damage and can cover the whole THz range at once. To simulate tightly-focused-laser-induced microplasmas, we propose an efficient numerical algorithm that can introduce any arbitrarily shaped laser pulses into electromagnetic codes. We derive a Maxwell-consistent model that includes two major THz generation mechanisms, the ionization current (IC) and transition-Cherenkov mechanisms (TC). The latter mechanism is shown to dominate for single-color multi-cycle lasers pulses where the emission is driven by longitudinal electron currents. For microplasmas a constant electric field can boost the laser-to-THz converison efficiency by two orders of magnitude via the IC mechanism when increasing the gas-pressure and bias-voltage. Moreover for two-color-driving laser pulses, Maxwell-consistent 3D simulations show, that only 10 μJ laser pulse energy are sufficient to reach conversion efficiencies well above 10−4 when optimizing the focusing conditions. Here, the transverse nature of the IC currents is crucial for the up-scaling of the efficiency with the plasma length. By using elliptically-shaped two-color-driving laser beams, we propose to control the emission spectra by exploiting resonant plasmonic effects.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 11, 2017 - 10:59:29 PM
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Illia Thiele. Theoretical investigations of terahertz generation in laser-induced microplasmas. Plasma Physics [physics.plasm-ph]. Université de Bordeaux, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017BORD0703⟩. ⟨tel-01661336⟩

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