Contrôle de rayonnements térahertz intenses produits par lasers femtosecondes et applications à la détection de molécules

Abstract : The terahertz waves (THz), located between the infrared and the microwaves in the electromagnetic spectrum, correspond to the characteristic frequencies of numerous molecular motions and thus make it possible to characterize complex molecules by time-domain spectroscopy. This thesis aims to study the THz fields emitted by a source formed by a two-color laser pulse generating a plasma by air ionization. Due to the time asymmetry of the laser field, an electric current having a low-frequency component in the THz range is formed in the plasma by nonlinear conversion, generating a secondary field including a THz component. The nonlinear effects involved in the generation of THz radiation are the Kerr effect at low intensity (< 10¹³ W/cm²) and the photocurrents at higher intensity (> 10¹³ W/cm²), above the ionization threshold. This latter mechanism, which generates the most THz radiation, is mainly studied in this manuscript. If the peak power of the laser pulse is sufficiently high, light filaments can be created by combining the focusing Kerr effect and the defocusing action of the plasma. So, the filamentation process can produce THz waves remotely. By modulating the laser pulse, it is possible to modify the associated THz fields and spectra. In particular, we study the effects of pulse chirping and multi-pulse combination. We also devote a large part of our studies to the influence of increasing the laser wavelength on the THz energy yield.
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Alisée Nguyen. Contrôle de rayonnements térahertz intenses produits par lasers femtosecondes et applications à la détection de molécules. Optique [physics.optics]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLS020⟩. ⟨tel-02147016⟩

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