We have developed a detector which records the full polarization state of a terahertz (THz) pulse propagating
in free space. The three-electrode photoconductive receiver simultaneously records the electric field of an electromagnetic
pulse in two orthogonal directions as a function of time. A prototype device fabricated on Fe+ ion
implanted InP exhibited a cross polarized extinction ratio better than 390:1. The design and optimization of
this device are discussed along with its significance for the development of new forms of polarization sensitive
time domain spectroscopy, including THz circular dichroism spectroscopy.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.