Abstract

We extend the theory of Cherenkov radiation from an ultrashort laser pulse in an electro-optic medium to the realistic case when the laser pulse propagates as a tightly focused Gaussian beam. By applying the developed theory to the situation of practical interest—a LiNbO3 crystal pumped by a near-infrared (Ti:sapphire or Yb) laser, we explore how the emitted terahertz energy and the terahertz spectrum depend on the focusing conditions for different laser pulse durations. The cases of focusing to a line and a spot are considered. It is shown that there is an optimal size of the beam waist, which maximizes the terahertz yield. The theoretical predictions are verified experimentally.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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