Broadband sensitive pump-probe setup for ultrafast optical switching of photonic nanostructures and semiconductors

FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), Kruislaan 407, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The Review of scientific instruments (Impact Factor: 1.61). 08/2009; 80(7):073104. DOI: 10.1063/1.3156049
Source: PubMed


We describe an ultrafast time resolved pump-probe spectroscopy setup aimed at studying the switching of nanophotonic structures. Both femtosecond pump and probe pulses can be independently tuned over broad frequency range between 3850 and 21,050 cm(-1). A broad pump scan range allows a large optical penetration depth, while a broad probe scan range is crucial to study strongly photonic crystals. A new data acquisition method allows for sensitive pump-probe measurements, and corrects for fluctuations in probe intensity and pump stray light. We observe a tenfold improvement of the precision of the setup compared to laser fluctuations, allowing a measurement accuracy of better than DeltaR=0.07% in a 1 s measurement time. Demonstrations of the improved technique are presented for a bulk Si wafer, a three-dimensional Si inverse opal photonic bandgap crystal, and z-scan measurements of the two-photon absorption coefficient of Si, GaAs, and the three-photon absorption coefficient of GaP in the infrared wavelength range.

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