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Development of a compact time-domain terahertz spectrometer using photoconductive antenna detection method

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2009
Güngör Erözbek, Ümmügül
In this thesis, we describe the development of a time-domain terahertz (THz) spectrometer driven by two different laser sources: an Er-doped femtosecond fiber laser and a mode-locked Ti:Sapphire laser. The resulting THz electromagnetic radiation was generated and detected using photoconductive antenna detection methods in both systems. In these experiments we characterized the THz power output for both the fiber laser driven system and the Ti:Sapphire laser driven system. Emphasis is given throughout this thesis on understanding the working principles behind time-domain terahertz spectroscopy, applications of THz radiation and terahertz generation as well as terahertz detection methods. We calculated the THz power output using two different methods. By using the “Hertzian Dipole” method we estimated the generated THz power after the generation photoconductive antenna. Using this method, we showed that the v generated power is on the order of milliwatts, which is far larger than the expected power typical for these systems. The second, “Open-Circuit Voltage” method, allowed us to calculate the received power on the detection photoconductive antenna. Using this method we were able to show that the THz power generated and detected in these systems is on the order of microwatts. For the mode-locked fiber laser driven spectrometer we obtained on average a ~ 4 ps (0.25 THz) pulse length which corresponded to an average power in the range of 71.8 nW - 70.54 ́W on a dipole antenna with a 6 ́m dipole gap and 44 ́m dipole length. Using the mode-locked Ti:Sapphire laser driven spectrometer we observed a ~ 2 ps (0.5 THz) pulse length and average power in the range of 0.54 nW 5.12 ́W on a different dipole antenna with a 5 ́m gap and 40 ́m dipole length. Since these values agree with expected values for these systems we believe the “Open-Circuit Voltage” method is appropriate when trying to calculate the THz power.