We show that in order to describe completely the coherent coupling between the pump and probe pulses in a pump– probe measurement of transient absorption, the influence of induced phase gratings must be included. The importance of phase gratings is demonstrated experimentally for the case of a bleachable dye and analyzed in terms of transient four-wave mixing. These results are relevant to the interpretation of pump–probe measurements on all time scales performed with pulses from a single laser, particularly when the pulse duration is comparable with the material response time.
© 1985 Optical Society of America
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