Terahertz Ultrashort Pulse Behavior: Near-Field and Far-Field Propagation

Assaf Bitman, Shaul Pearl, Inon Moshe, Zeev Zalevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An investigation of beam propagation properties for terahertz ultrashort pulses emitted from a photoconductive switch antenna is presented. The propagation of terahertz pulsed beams is studied based on the diffraction theory of electromagnetic fields. It is shown that under the assumption that the pulses spectrum radiates from a common initiating beam waist, the terahertz temporal pulse shape can be predicted elsewhere without the need for paraxial or far-field approximations. An algorithm is given that enables simple calculation of a terahertz pulse and its spatial distribution, based on simplifications of previous works. A numerical simulation model is presented that predicts spatiotemporal behavior and shows excellent agreement with experimental results. The presented algorithm provides a practical tool for many relevant applications. It also assists in designing and understanding practical pulsed terahertz laboratory setups based on photoconductive switches and can be generalized to predict the behavior of ultrashort pulses in other spectral regions, such as the visible spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2015


  • pulses and pulse propagation
  • terahertz imaging
  • wave propagation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Radiation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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