Abstract

Femtosecond pump pulses are strongly attenuated in lithium niobate owing to two-photon absorption; the relevant nonlinear coefficient βp ranges from 3.5cmGW for λp=388nm to 0.1cmGW for 514nm. In collinear pump–probe experiments the probe transmission at the double pump wavelength 2λp=776nm is controlled by two different processes: A direct absorption process involving pump and probe photons (βr0.9cmGW) leads to a pronounced short-duration transmission dip, whereas the probe absorption by pump-excited charge carriers results in a long-duration plateau. Coherent pump–probe interactions are of no importance. Hot-carrier relaxation occurs on the time scale of 0.1ps.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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