Terahertz detection by upconversion to the near-infrared using picosecond pulses
The detection of terahertz photons by using silicon-based devices enabled by visible photons is one of the fundamental ideas of quantum optics. Here, we present a classical detection principle using optical up conversion of terahertz photons to the near-infrared spectral range in the picosecond pulse regime, which finally enables the detection with a conventional sCMOS camera. By superimposing terahertz and optical pump pulses in a periodically poled lithium-niobate crystal, terahertz photons at 0.87 THz are converted to optical photons with wavelengths close to the central pump wavelength of 776 nm. A tunable delay between the pulses helps overlap the pulses and enables time-of-flight measurements. Using a sCMOS camera, we achieve a dynamic range of 47.8 dB with a signal to noise ratio of 23.5 dB at a measurement time of one second, in our current setup.