To determine the spatio-temporal field distribution of freely propagating terahertz bandwidth pulses, we measure the time-resolved electric field in two spatial dimensions with high resolution. The measured, phase-coherent electric-field distributions are compared with an analytic model in which the radiation from a dipole antenna near a dielectric interface is coupled to free space through a spherical lens. The field external to the lens is limited by reflection at the lens–air dielectric interface, which is minimized at Brewster’s angle, leading to an annular field pattern. Field measurements compare favorably with theory. Propagation of terahertz beams is determined both by assuming a TEM<sub>0, 0</sub> Gaussian profile as well as expanding the beam into a superposition of Laguerre–Gauss modes. The Laguerre–Gauss model more accurately describes the beam profile for free-space propagation and after propagating through a simple optical system. The accuracy of both models for predicting far-field beam patterns depend upon accurately measuring complex field amplitudes of terahertz beams.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
Matthew T. Reiten, Stacee A. Harmon, and Richard Alan Cheville, "Terahertz beam propagation measured through three-dimensional amplitude profile determination," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 20, 2215-2225 (2003)