Lightwave-driven electron emission for polarity-sensitive terahertz beam profiling

Simon Jappe Lange*, Matthias C. Hoffmann, Peter Uhd Jepsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The full exploitation of advanced light sources in the terahertz (THz) frequency range requires versatile experimental tools to fully characterize the spatial, temporal, and spectral shapes of the THz electric field. Several techniques for passive THz beam profiling exist that offer information about the temporally integrated intensity. Thus, any information about the electric field itself is lost. Here, we show that a UV-visible light emission produced via a lightwave-driven field emission from single-layer metasurfaces can be used to visualize the peak electric field distribution of THz beams in real time. Our technique is scalable up to frequencies approaching the plasma frequency of the metal used for the metasurface. Uniquely, our device is sensitive to the absolute polarity of the THz lightwave. These findings demonstrate a general pathway to designing metamaterial-based field-sensitive optical detectors suitable for the entire THz and IR spectral region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016105
JournalAPL Photonics
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


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