Abstract

A single-shot optical pump-and-probe test system is reported. The system is designed for thermal characterization of thin-film samples that can change their phase state under the influence of a short and intense laser pulse on a subnanosecond time scale. In combination with numerical analysis, the system can be used to estimate thermal constants of thin films, such as specific heat and thermal conductivity. In-plane and out-of plane thermal conductivity can be estimated independently. The system is intended for use in research on optical data storage and material processing with pulsed laser light. The system design issues are discussed. As application examples, we report on using the system to study thermal dynamics in two different thin-film samples: a gold film on a glass substrate (a single-phase system) and the quadrilayer phase-change stack typical in optical data-storage applications.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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