Abstract

Thin films of Bi were grown by pulsed laser deposition on glass substrates at room temperature. The thickness and roughness of the films were characterized by grazing-incidence x-ray reflectivity, and the complex refractive indices were measured in the range from 1.5 to 4 eV by spectroscopic ellipsometry. We performed Z-scan measurements to study the third-order optical nonlinearity of the films. It was found that the Bi films exhibited an unusually large nonlinear refractive coefficient, nI1.24×10-1 cm2/kW and nonlinear absorption coefficient, αI-3.97 cm/W, at low laser intensity, 60 kW/cm2. This anomaly is believed to have an origin related to melting of the Bi films at the focus spot by the laser beam.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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