Abstract

We present a simple and robust technique for measuring the nonlinear refractive index. The principle is based on an iterative phase retrieval algorithm with a pump–probe system. Different strong phase modulations are intentionally introduced into the probe beam, and corresponding diffraction intensity patterns are recorded. The recordings are used in the phase retrieval algorithm to reconstruct the pump-induced phase on the probe beam. The nonlinear refractive index is then extracted from the reconstructed phase. The reconstruction method offers a straightforward procedure and a simple lensless setup. Simulations validate the proposed method. The effects of different characteristics of the pump and probe beams on the quality of reconstructions are investigated. The obtained results demonstrate that the reconstructions are accurate even for the probe beams with complex-valued fields and non-Gaussian pump beams; it removes the requirement for smooth fields of the pump and probe beams. The validity of the method in noisy conditions is also shown.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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