We present measurements of the complete terahertz (THz) electric near-field distribution, E(x), E(y) and E(z), in both the time- and frequency-domains, for subwavelength apertures and subsections of subwavelength aperture arrays. Measuring the individual components of the THz near-field with subwavelength spatial resolution, as they emerge from these structures, illustrates how the field interacts with the apertures. We observe the small but measurable y- and z-components of the electric field for both single apertures and arrays. Resonant contributions, attributed to Bloch modes, are detected and we observe the presence of a longitudinal field component, E(z), within the different array apertures, which can be attributed to a diffractive effect. These measurements illustrate in detail the individual THz field components emerging from subwavelength apertures and provide a direct measure of two important mechanisms that contribute to the net transmission of light through arrays.
(c) 2009 Optical Society of America