Abstract by Isaac Tangen
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Optimization of BNA as a THz Emitter
Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy is an emerging field with a variety of important applications, including chemical recognition, studying interactions in biological systems, and developing high-speed electronics and computational systems. THz radiation is commonly produced through optical rectification of ultrafast laser pulses in nonlinear optical (NLO) crystals. BNA is an NLO crystal with favorable properties for optical rectification such as a low absorption coefficient from 0-6 THz and good phase-matching properties in this same range. We have extensively studied using BNA for THz generation and optimized parameters such as crystal thickness and pump wavelength. However, the most common laser systems available are 800-nm Ti:sapphire lasers, which more easily damage BNA crystals. By attaching BNA to a sapphire substrate, the usable pump power, and thus the output THz power, increases significantly. This greatly extends the availability of THz systems.