|Citation:||Yiwen E, Liangliang Zhang, Anton Tcypkin, Sergey Kozlov, Cunlin Zhang, X.-C. Zhang. 2021: Broadband THz Sources from Gases to Liquids. Ultrafast Science, 2021(1). doi: 10.34133/2021/9892763|
Matters are generally classified within four states: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. Three of the four states of matter (solid, gas, and plasma) have been used for THz wave generation with short laser pulse excitation for decades, including the recent vigorous development of THz photonics in gases (air plasma). However, the demonstration of THz generation from liquids was conspicuously absent. It is well known that water, the most common liquid, is a strong absorber in the far infrared range. Therefore, liquid water has historically been sworn off as a source for THz radiation. Recently, broadband THz wave generation from a flowing liquid target has been experimentally demonstrated through laser-induced microplasma. The liquid target as the THz source presents unique properties. Specifically, liquids have the comparable material density to that of solids, meaning that laser pulses over a certain area will interact with three orders more molecules than an equivalent cross-section of gases. In contrast with solid targets, the fluidity of liquid allows every laser pulse to interact with a fresh area on the target, meaning that material damage or degradation is not an issue with the high-repetition rate intense laser pulses. These make liquids very promising candidates for the investigation of high-energy-density plasma, as well as the possibility of being the next generation of THz sources.