We compare detailed spatio-temporal propagation simulations with experiments on generation of terahertz (THz) pulses in single filaments with two-color optical excitation, which elucidates the mechanism whereby positively chirped optical pulses lead to the maximum THz yield. The long-wavelength components in the leading edge of the positively chirped 2ω-pulse preserve the overlap with the ω-pulse. The THz yield is extremely sensitive to the temporal overlap: for a 35-fs ω-pulse, the yield decreases by an order of magnitude upon a ω–2ω pulse shift of only 5 fs.

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