We use a broadband microbolometer array to measure the full three-dimensional (3D) terahertz (THz) intensity profile emitted from a two-color femtosecond plasma and subsequently focused in a geometry useful for nonlinear spectroscopic investigations. Away from the immediate focal region we observe a sharp, conical intensity profile resembling a donut, and in the focal region the beam collapses to a central, Lorentz-shaped profile. The Lorentzian intensity profile in the focal region can be explained by considering the frequency-dependent spot size derived from measurements of the Gouy phase shift in the focal region, and the transition from the donut profile to a central peak is consistent with propagation of a Bessel–Gauss beam, as shown by simulations based on a recent transient photocurrent model (You et al 2012 Phys. Rev. Lett. 109 183902). We combine our measurements to the first full 3D visualization of the conical THz emission from the two-color plasma.
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Online supplementary data available from stacks.iop.org/NJP/15/075012/mmedia.