Gallium arsenide signal processing at terahertz speeds

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Solid State Electronics journal – Ultrafast nonlinear optical effects in semiconductor quantum wells resonantly driven by strong few-cycle terahertz pulses

Intraexciton transitions in semiconductor quantum wells are modulated by strong and tunable few-cycle terahertz pulses. Time-resolved terahertz-pump and optical-probe measurements demonstrate that the 1s heavy-hole and light-hole exciton resonances undergo large-amplitude spectral modulations when the terahertz radiation is tuned near the 1sā€“2p intraexciton transition. The strong nonlinear optical transients exhibit the characteristics of Rabi sidebands. The spectral features also reveal the dephasing properties of the optically dark 2p states. A microscopic theory shows that the 2p-dephasing rate is three times that of the 1s-state. The ultrafast nonlinear optical effects and their quantum nature suggest promising applications to ultrahigh-speed optical signal processing and quantum information processing in the THz region.

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