Abstract

An experimental technique is demonstrated that permits direct optical measurement of ultrafast material transients during a single excitation–relaxation cycle. Reflection of a linearly chirped, supercontinuum optical pulse from a gold film with changing surface temperature induced by an ultrafast pump pulse allows the thermal transients to be encoded onto the spectrum of the probe pulse. Calibrating the chirp of the probe pulse and the wavelength sensitivity of the sample permits mapping of the measured transient into the time domain. Measurements are completed over the course of 100  ps with subpicosecond time resolution. Results obtained with this technique are compared with similar measurements obtained with conventional pump–probe correlation techniques.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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