We propose the use of birefringent materials to attain pulse separations suitable for pump–probe spectroscopy and spectral interferometry. By choice of material thickness and cut angle, it is possible to balance second-order dispersion while allowing for variable delays. The generated pulse pair is used to calibrate the phase response of an ultrafast liquid-crystal pulse shaper, and in the measurement of a rotational wave packet in impulsively aligned molecules.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
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