Abstract by Tanner Hardy
Chemistry and Biochemistry
The effect of THz generation sources on the excitation of ferroelectric soft modes
Terahertz (THz) radiation refers to light with frequencies between the infrared and microwave ranges. THz radiation provides intriguing opportunities for studying and altering material properties while avoiding some of the classic barriers encountered by radiation of higher frequencies. THz radiation can be generated using various non-linear organic crystals, and other techniques such as plasma THz generation, but each source generates THz in varying amplitudes, varying frequencies within the THz range, and with varying electric-field waveforms. Here we study the excitation of the soft mode of the ferroelectric crystal LiNbO3 using three organic THz generation crystals and plasma generated THz. We investigate the effectiveness of each source in driving the vibrational mode, and its potential to effect structural change in the crystal. We also present modeling showing these effects at varying THz amplitudes. Ultrafast THz induced changes to crystal structure present exciting possibilities in electronics and computing fields.