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Opt Express. 2009 Feb 16;17(4):2470-80.

Generation of ultrafast terahertz radiation pulses on metallic nanostructured surfaces.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physics, SUPA, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NG, Scotland, UK. g.welsh@strath.ac.uk


A resonant "incoherent" rectification process is presented relying on the excitation of surface plasmons on a nanostructured metal surface. Excitation of gold and silver films with 800-nm femtosecond laser pulses results in the emission of terahertz radiation with an angle-dependent efficiency and an approximately third-order power dependence. It is shown that the source of this terahertz pulse generation is the surface-plasmon-assisted multiphoton ionization and ponderomotive acceleration in the evanescent field of the surface plasmon. Simple models are used to understand the forces and dynamics near the surface.

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