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Title: Experiments and Computational Theory for Electrical Breakdown in Critical Components: THz Imaging of Electronic Plasmas.

Abstract

This report describes the development of ultra-short pulse laser (USPL) induced terahertz (THz) radiation to image electronic plasmas during electrical breakdown. The technique uses three pulses from two USPLs to (1) trigger the breakdown, (2) create a 2 picosecond (ps, 10 -12 s), THz pulse to illuminate the breakdown, and (3) record the THz image of the breakdown. During this three year internal research program, sub-picosecond jitter timing for the lasers, THz generation, high bandwidth (BW) diagnostics, and THz image acquisition was demonstrated. High intensity THz radiation was optically-induced in a pulse-charged gallium arsenide photoconductive switch. The radiation was collected, transported, concentrated, and co-propagated through an electro-optic crystal with an 800 nm USPL pulse whose polarization was rotated due to the spatially varying electric field of the THz image. The polarization modulated USPL pulse was then passed through a polarizer and the resulting spatially varying intensity was detected in a high resolution digital camera. Single shot images had a signal to noise of %7E3:1. Signal to noise was improved to %7E30:1 with several experimental techniques and by averaging the THz images from %7E4000 laser pulses internally and externally with the camera and the acquisition system (40 pulses per readout). THzmore » shadows of metallic films and objects were also recorded with this system to demonstrate free-carrier absorption of the THz radiation and improve image contrast and resolution. These 2 ps THz pulses were created and resolved with 100 femtosecond (fs, 10 -15 s) long USPL pulses. Thus this technology has the capability to time-resolve extremely fast repetitive or single shot phenomena, such as those that occur during the initiation of electrical breakdown. The goal of imaging electrical breakdown was not reached during this three year project. However, plans to achieve this goal as part of a follow-on project are described in this document. Further modifications to improve the THz image contrast and resolution are proposed, and after they are made, images of photo-induced carriers in gallium arsenide and silicon will be acquired to evaluate image sensitivity versus carrier density. Finally electrical breakdown will be induced with the first USPL pulse, illuminated with THz radiation produced with the second USPL pulse and recorded with the third USPL pulse.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1338164
Report Number(s):
SAND-2016-11572
649317
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Zutavern, Fred J., Hjalmarson, Harold P., Bigman, Verle Howard, and Gallegos, Richard Joseph. Experiments and Computational Theory for Electrical Breakdown in Critical Components: THz Imaging of Electronic Plasmas.. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1338164.
Zutavern, Fred J., Hjalmarson, Harold P., Bigman, Verle Howard, & Gallegos, Richard Joseph. Experiments and Computational Theory for Electrical Breakdown in Critical Components: THz Imaging of Electronic Plasmas.. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1338164
Zutavern, Fred J., Hjalmarson, Harold P., Bigman, Verle Howard, and Gallegos, Richard Joseph. 2016. "Experiments and Computational Theory for Electrical Breakdown in Critical Components: THz Imaging of Electronic Plasmas.". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1338164. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1338164.
@article{osti_1338164,
title = {Experiments and Computational Theory for Electrical Breakdown in Critical Components: THz Imaging of Electronic Plasmas.},
author = {Zutavern, Fred J. and Hjalmarson, Harold P. and Bigman, Verle Howard and Gallegos, Richard Joseph},
abstractNote = {This report describes the development of ultra-short pulse laser (USPL) induced terahertz (THz) radiation to image electronic plasmas during electrical breakdown. The technique uses three pulses from two USPLs to (1) trigger the breakdown, (2) create a 2 picosecond (ps, 10 -12 s), THz pulse to illuminate the breakdown, and (3) record the THz image of the breakdown. During this three year internal research program, sub-picosecond jitter timing for the lasers, THz generation, high bandwidth (BW) diagnostics, and THz image acquisition was demonstrated. High intensity THz radiation was optically-induced in a pulse-charged gallium arsenide photoconductive switch. The radiation was collected, transported, concentrated, and co-propagated through an electro-optic crystal with an 800 nm USPL pulse whose polarization was rotated due to the spatially varying electric field of the THz image. The polarization modulated USPL pulse was then passed through a polarizer and the resulting spatially varying intensity was detected in a high resolution digital camera. Single shot images had a signal to noise of %7E3:1. Signal to noise was improved to %7E30:1 with several experimental techniques and by averaging the THz images from %7E4000 laser pulses internally and externally with the camera and the acquisition system (40 pulses per readout). THz shadows of metallic films and objects were also recorded with this system to demonstrate free-carrier absorption of the THz radiation and improve image contrast and resolution. These 2 ps THz pulses were created and resolved with 100 femtosecond (fs, 10 -15 s) long USPL pulses. Thus this technology has the capability to time-resolve extremely fast repetitive or single shot phenomena, such as those that occur during the initiation of electrical breakdown. The goal of imaging electrical breakdown was not reached during this three year project. However, plans to achieve this goal as part of a follow-on project are described in this document. Further modifications to improve the THz image contrast and resolution are proposed, and after they are made, images of photo-induced carriers in gallium arsenide and silicon will be acquired to evaluate image sensitivity versus carrier density. Finally electrical breakdown will be induced with the first USPL pulse, illuminated with THz radiation produced with the second USPL pulse and recorded with the third USPL pulse.},
doi = {10.2172/1338164},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1338164}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {11}
}