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Opt Lett. 2013 Mar 1;38(5):796-8. doi: 10.1364/OL.38.000796.

High conversion efficiency, high energy terahertz pulses by optical rectification in cryogenically cooled lithium niobate.

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Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


We demonstrate highly efficient terahertz (THz) generation by optical rectification (OR) of near-optimum pump pulses centered at 1.03 μm in cryogenically cooled lithium niobate. Using a close to optimal pulse duration of 680 fs and a pump energy of 1.2 mJ, we report conversion efficiencies above 3.8±0.4%, which is more than an order of magnitude higher than previously reported. The results confirm the advantage of using cryogenic cooling of the lithium niobate crystal that significantly reduces the THz absorption, enabling the scaling of THz pulse energies to the millijoule level via OR.

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