Abstract

We report a simple method to measure the third-order nonlinear refraction and absorption of bulk materials and waveguides. This method relies on the nonlinear evolution of the spectral intensity and width of femtosecond pulses, owing to self-phase modulation, according to a variable chirp introduced before propagation through the nonlinear sample. We describe the experimental details, and we present a comprehensive numerical analysis of the dispersive and the nonlinear effects that can influence the measurement. We also extend the method to characterize the time response of the fast cubic nonlinearity.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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