Skip to Main Content
The authors report the use of an optoelectronic system for the measurement of terahertz (THz) pulses by using chirped pulse technology. This system measures the spatio-temporal distribution of free-space pulsed radiation with an unprecedented data acquisition-rate. Using a linearly chirped optical probe pulse with an electro-optic crystal, a temporal waveform of a copropagating THz field is linearly encoded onto the frequency spectrum of the optical probe pulse and then decoded by dispersing the probe beam from a grating to a detector array. Acquisition of picosecond THz field pulses without using mechanical time-delay devices have been achieved. A single-shot electro-optic measurement of the temporal waveform of a THz pulse has been demonstrated. Unparalleled by other THz sampling techniques, this single-shot method provides what is believed to be the highest possible data-acquisition rate. Temporal resolution, sensitivity, optimal optical bias point of electro-optic modulation, potential applications, and possible improvements are also discussed. In principle, this technique can also be used in magneto-optic measurements.