Characterization of dynamic optical nonlinearities by continuous time-resolved Z-scan

David O. Caplan*, Gregory S. Kanter, Prem Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Dynamic optical nonlinearities are investigated with a dual-beam (pulsed-pump, cw probe) Z-scan technique. Monitoring of probe transmission after strong pump excitation permits determination of time-varying parameters such as nonlinear refraction n(I,t) and absorption α(I,t). Continuous time resolution provides an efficient means of measuring and distinguishing fast and slow nonlinear mechanisms such as electronic, free-carrier, and thermal effects observed in semiconductors. We demonstrate this technique in CdTe and measure bound-electronic refraction; two-photon absorption; free-carrier refraction, absorption, and diffusion; thermal refraction and temperature changes; and related time constants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1342-1344
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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