Abstract by Benjamin Heiner
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Generation of Terahertz Light Using a Water Plasma
Terahertz (THz) science is a growing field because of the numerous ways THz light can influence and measure molecular and solid systems. Therefore, ready access to high-power THz frequency light is ever more important. One method for high-power THz generation involves focusing two-color laser pulses in air to generate a plasma, which then radiates THz light. The amount of THz generated is proportional to the number of electrons removed from the air molecules (approximately one per molecule), and this can saturate as you ionize all of the air molecules in the plasma volume. One way to improve the THz output is by generating the plasma in a denser medium, such as water. This may be counter intuitive because water strongly absorbs THz light. We will discuss THz generation from water and compare to plasma generation in air.