Nonlinear propagation of strong-field THz pulses in doped semiconductors

Dmitry Turchinovich, Jørn Märcher Hvam, Matthias C. Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


We report on nonlinear propagation of single-cycle THz pulses with peak electric fields reaching 300 kV/cm in n-type semiconductors at room temperature. Dramatic THz saturable absorption effects are observed in GaAs, GaP, and Ge, which are caused by the nonlinear electron transport in THz fields. The semiconductor conductivity, and hence the THz absorption, is modulated due to the acceleration of carriers in strong THz fields, leading to an increase of the effective mass of the electron population, as the electrons are redistributed from the low-momentum, low-effective-mass states to the high-momentum, high-effective-mass states in the energy-momentum space of the conduction band. Further, we observe the typical accompanying effects of saturable absorption on the THz pulses, such as an increase of the group delay, as the peak electric field of the pulse increases. In this paper we present the results of nonlinear THz time-domain spectroscopy, and of THz pump - THz probe spectroscopy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering
Pages (from-to)82600G-9
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventUltrafast Phenomena and Nanophotonics XVI - Moscone Center, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 21 Jan 201226 Jan 2012
Conference number: 16


ConferenceUltrafast Phenomena and Nanophotonics XVI
LocationMoscone Center
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • THz spectroscopy
  • Hot electron transport
  • Nonlinear processes

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