Abstract by Emmalee McMurray
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Jeremy Johnson, David Michaelis
Improving Crystal Environment to Increase Terahertz Generation
Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy has a growing number of applications. Currently, the most efficient means of THz generation is via optical rectification in nonlinear optical crystals. Our goal is to improve the output of THz generation crystals by decreasing Fresnel reflection losses. We calculated a 12% increase in generation when refractive index mismatch at both the entrance and exit surfaces is decreased. We constructed a gradient refractive index structure with Teflon and glass to bridge the gap between the refractive index of the air and the refractive index of the crystal for both the incident IR pump pulse and the exiting generated THz pulse. To test the structures, we generated THz using HMQ-TMS nonlinear crystals and measured the THz electric field strength with and without the containment structure. Preliminary measurements show an increase in THz electric field strength.