Broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) is demonstrated as an effective probe of polymer thin film materials. A simple modification to a 1 kHz broad bandwidth sum frequency generation (SFG) spectrometer permits acquisition of CARS spectra for polymer thin films less than 100 nm thick, a dimension relevant to organic electronic device applications. CARS spectra are compared to the conventional Raman spectra of polystyrene and the resonance-enhanced Raman spectra of poly(3-hexylthiophene). The CARS spectra obtained under these conditions consistently demonstrate enhanced signal-to-noise ratio compared to the spontaneous Raman scattering. The sensitivity of the CARS measurement is limited by the damage threshold of the samples. The dielectic properties of the substrate have a dramatic effect on the detected signal intensity. For ultrathin films, the strongest signals are obtained from fused silica surfaces. Similar to surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), Au also gives a large signal, but contrary to SERS, no surface roughening is necessary.
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