Letter abstract


Nature Physics 6, 126 - 130 (2010)
Published online: 6 December 2009 | doi:10.1038/nphys1480

Subject Categories: Condensed-matter physics | Optical physics

Interference-induced terahertz transparency in a semiconductor magneto-plasma

X. Wang1, A. A. Belyanin2, S. A. Crooker3, D. M. Mittleman1 & J. Kono1

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Maximum modulation of light transmission occurs when an opaque medium is suddenly made transparent. This phenomenon occurs in atomic and molecular gases through different mechanisms1, 2, whereas much room remains for further studies in solids3, 4, 5. A plasma is an illustrative system showing opacity for low-frequency light, and light–plasma interaction theory provides a universal framework to describe diverse phenomena including radiation in space plasmas6, diagnostics of laboratory plasmas7 and collective excitations in condensed matter8. However, induced transparency in plasmas remains relatively unexplored9. Here, we use coherent terahertz magneto-spectroscopy to reveal a thermally and magnetically induced transparency in a semiconductor plasma. A sudden appearance and disappearance of transmission through electron-doped InSb is observed over narrow temperature and magnetic field ranges, owing to coherent interference between left- and right-circularly polarized terahertz eigenmodes. Excellent agreement with theory reveals long-lived coherence of magneto-plasmons and demonstrates the importance of coherent interference in the terahertz regime.

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  1. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
  2. Department of Physics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA
  3. National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA

Correspondence to: J. Kono1 e-mail: kono@rice.edu



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