Efficient Terahertz Sources by Optical Rectification in Photonic Crystals and Metamaterials Exploiting Tailored Transverse Dispersion Relations


The technology can be used to improve the efficiency of THz generation for imaging and spectroscopic applications in the medical, security and manufacturing sectors.

Problem Addressed

A major limit in generating terahertz radiation from optical rectification in electro-optic materials comes from optical break down processes in these materials. More efficient generation can be obtained by increasing the optical power level, but this input optical power has to be below the threshold of optical breakdown of the crystal.


The invention describes the improvement of the efficiency of THz generation via optical rectification by making use of specially tailored transverse dispersion relations in photonic crystals (a good candidate is lithium niobate) and the associated enhanced density of photonic states.


  • Improves the efficiency of THz generation
  • Wide range of applications
  • Provides better resolution over longer wavelength microwave radiation