Nitrogen plasma formation through terahertz-induced ultrafast electron field emission

Krzysztof Iwaszczuk, Maksim Zalkovskij, Andrew Strikwerda, Peter Uhd Jepsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Electron microscopy and electron diffraction techniques rely on electron sources. Those sources require strong electric fields to extract electrons from metals, either by the photoelectric effect, driven by multiphoton absorption of strong laser fields, or in the static field emission regime. Terahertz (THz) radiation, commonly understood to be nonionizing due to its low photon energy, is here shown to produce electron field emission. We demonstrate that a carrier-envelope phase-stable single-cycle optical field at THz frequencies interacting with a metallic microantenna can generate and accelerate ultrashort and ultrabright electron bunches into free space, and we use these electrons to excite and ionize ambient nitrogen molecules near the antenna. The associated UV emission from the gas forms a novel THz wave detector, which, in contrast with conventional photon-counting or heat-sensitive devices, is ungated and sensitive to the peak electric field in a strongly nonlinear fashion. (C) 2015 Optical Society of America
Original languageEnglish
JournalOptica
Volume2
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)116-123
ISSN2334-2536
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • OPTICS
  • IONIZATION
  • NANOSTRUCTURES
  • PHOTOEMISSION
  • SPECTROSCOPY
  • RADIATION
  • SURFACE
  • ZNTE

Cite this

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title = "Nitrogen plasma formation through terahertz-induced ultrafast electron field emission",
abstract = "Electron microscopy and electron diffraction techniques rely on electron sources. Those sources require strong electric fields to extract electrons from metals, either by the photoelectric effect, driven by multiphoton absorption of strong laser fields, or in the static field emission regime. Terahertz (THz) radiation, commonly understood to be nonionizing due to its low photon energy, is here shown to produce electron field emission. We demonstrate that a carrier-envelope phase-stable single-cycle optical field at THz frequencies interacting with a metallic microantenna can generate and accelerate ultrashort and ultrabright electron bunches into free space, and we use these electrons to excite and ionize ambient nitrogen molecules near the antenna. The associated UV emission from the gas forms a novel THz wave detector, which, in contrast with conventional photon-counting or heat-sensitive devices, is ungated and sensitive to the peak electric field in a strongly nonlinear fashion. (C) 2015 Optical Society of America",
keywords = "OPTICS, IONIZATION, NANOSTRUCTURES, PHOTOEMISSION, SPECTROSCOPY, RADIATION, SURFACE, ZNTE",
author = "Krzysztof Iwaszczuk and Maksim Zalkovskij and Andrew Strikwerda and Jepsen, {Peter Uhd}",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1364/OPTICA.2.000116",
language = "English",
volume = "2",
pages = "116--123",
journal = "Optica",
issn = "2334-2536",
publisher = "Optical Society of America",
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}

Nitrogen plasma formation through terahertz-induced ultrafast electron field emission. / Iwaszczuk, Krzysztof; Zalkovskij, Maksim; Strikwerda, Andrew; Jepsen, Peter Uhd.

In: Optica, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2015, p. 116-123.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nitrogen plasma formation through terahertz-induced ultrafast electron field emission

AU - Iwaszczuk, Krzysztof

AU - Zalkovskij, Maksim

AU - Strikwerda, Andrew

AU - Jepsen, Peter Uhd

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Electron microscopy and electron diffraction techniques rely on electron sources. Those sources require strong electric fields to extract electrons from metals, either by the photoelectric effect, driven by multiphoton absorption of strong laser fields, or in the static field emission regime. Terahertz (THz) radiation, commonly understood to be nonionizing due to its low photon energy, is here shown to produce electron field emission. We demonstrate that a carrier-envelope phase-stable single-cycle optical field at THz frequencies interacting with a metallic microantenna can generate and accelerate ultrashort and ultrabright electron bunches into free space, and we use these electrons to excite and ionize ambient nitrogen molecules near the antenna. The associated UV emission from the gas forms a novel THz wave detector, which, in contrast with conventional photon-counting or heat-sensitive devices, is ungated and sensitive to the peak electric field in a strongly nonlinear fashion. (C) 2015 Optical Society of America

AB - Electron microscopy and electron diffraction techniques rely on electron sources. Those sources require strong electric fields to extract electrons from metals, either by the photoelectric effect, driven by multiphoton absorption of strong laser fields, or in the static field emission regime. Terahertz (THz) radiation, commonly understood to be nonionizing due to its low photon energy, is here shown to produce electron field emission. We demonstrate that a carrier-envelope phase-stable single-cycle optical field at THz frequencies interacting with a metallic microantenna can generate and accelerate ultrashort and ultrabright electron bunches into free space, and we use these electrons to excite and ionize ambient nitrogen molecules near the antenna. The associated UV emission from the gas forms a novel THz wave detector, which, in contrast with conventional photon-counting or heat-sensitive devices, is ungated and sensitive to the peak electric field in a strongly nonlinear fashion. (C) 2015 Optical Society of America

KW - OPTICS

KW - IONIZATION

KW - NANOSTRUCTURES

KW - PHOTOEMISSION

KW - SPECTROSCOPY

KW - RADIATION

KW - SURFACE

KW - ZNTE

U2 - 10.1364/OPTICA.2.000116

DO - 10.1364/OPTICA.2.000116

M3 - Journal article

VL - 2

SP - 116

EP - 123

JO - Optica

JF - Optica

SN - 2334-2536

IS - 2

ER -