In optical modulation, the highest available modulation rate is basically limited to the GHz frequency range at best. This is because optical modulation is often performed using electro-optic or acousto-optic effects that require application of an external signal to solid-state nonlinear optical materials. Here we describe optical modulation of continuous-wave radiation at frequencies exceeding 10 THz based on ultrafast variation of molecule polarizability arising from coherent molecular motion. The optical modulation efficiency is extensively enhanced by fulfilling phase-matching conditions with the help of dispersion control of the optical cavity, generating sidebands with a highest ratio of 7.3 × 10 â '3. These results will pave the way for development of versatile optical modulation-based techniques in a wide range of research fields in optical sciences, such as mode-locked lasers operating in the THz range.
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