Table-top sources of intense multi-terahertz (THz) pulses have opened the door to studies of extreme nonlinearities in the previously elusive mid- to far-infrared spectral regime. We discuss two concepts of fully coherent coupling of phase-locked THz pulses with condensed matter. The first approach demonstrates two-dimensional multi-THz spectroscopy of the semiconductor material InSb. By phase- and amplitude-sensitive detection of the nonlinear optical response, we are able to separate incoherent pump–probe signals from coherent four-wave mixing and reveal extremely non-perturbative nonlinearities. While this class of interactions is mediated by the electric field component of the THz pulse, the second approach is complementary, as it demonstrates that, alternatively, the magnetic THz field may be exploited to selectively control the spin degree of freedom in antiferromagnetic NiO.
The original publication is available by link DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/6/065003