Abstract

Transient pump–probe measurements of circular anisotropy in nickel films induced by 38-fs optical pulses show an instantaneous response that is related to the optical orientation of the spins of free electrons. Measurements in a sample of variable thickness, performed in both transmission and reflection, revealed that the surface significantly influences the degenerate cubic optical nonlinearity of the nickel films to a depth of approximately 4–5 nm into the bulk.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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