Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Jason Deibel, Ph.D. (Advisor); Brent Foy, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Ivan Medvedev, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Terahertz (THz) frequency light has shown promise for a wide variety of applications due to its material characterization and imaging capabilities. Its nondestructive nature coupled with its submillimeter spatial resolution provides the most value for terahertz light as an imaging tool. The application of terahertz technology has been limited by a lack of novel and powerful sources. It has been shown that that Yttrium Barium Copper Oxide (YBCO), a type II superconductor, has certain properties that would allow YBCO to be an effective source for THz light. Recent microwave work has shown that when a persistent supercurrent is placed on a thin film YBCO ring and is discharged, the decelerating electrons could produce THZ electromagnetic radiation. An ultrafast femtosecond laser incident on such a YBCO ring would disrupt the superconducting mechanism of the material. A series of tests examining YBCO and its optoelectronic properties were conducted. These included ultrafast pump-probe measurements, inspection of the discharging and charging rates, and finally time-domain terahertz emission experiments. The pump-probe measurements revealed electron relaxation times in the picosecond range. While it was shown that the ultrafast laser was able to induce and discharge a super current in the thin film superconductor, it was dependent on laser fluence and had no detectable wavelength dependence. However, no THz radiation was detected with the time-domain measurement system.

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Department or Program

Department of Physics

Year Degree Awarded


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Physics Commons