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Extremely Nonperturbative Nonlinearities in GaAs Driven by Atomically Strong Terahertz Fields in Gold Metamaterials

Extremely Nonperturbative Nonlinearities in GaAs Driven by Atomically Strong Terahertz Fields in Gold Metamaterials

Physical Review Letters 113(22): 227401

Terahertz near fields of gold metamaterials resonant at a frequency of 0.88 THz allow us to enter an extreme limit of nonperturbative ultrafast terahertz electronics: Fields reaching a ponderomotive energy in the keV range are exploited to drive nondestructive, quasistatic interband tunneling and impact ionization in undoped bulk GaAs, injecting electron-hole plasmas with densities in excess of 10^{19}  cm^{-3}. This process causes bright luminescence at energies up to 0.5 eV above the band gap and induces a complete switch-off of the metamaterial resonance accompanied by self-amplitude-modulation of transmitted few-cycle terahertz transients. Our results pave the way towards highly nonlinear terahertz optics and optoelectronic nanocircuitry with subpicosecond switching times.

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Accession: 057851016

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25494089

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.227401

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