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Sensitive measurement of optical nonlinearities using a single beam

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5 Author(s)
Sheik-Bahae, M. ; Center for Res. in Electro-Opt. & Lasers, Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA ; Said, A.A. ; Wei, T.-H. ; Hagan, D.J.
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A sensitive single-beam technique for measuring both the nonlinear refractive index and nonlinear absorption coefficient for a wide variety of materials is reported. The authors describe the experimental details and present a comprehensive theoretical analysis including cases where nonlinear refraction is accompanied by nonlinear absorption. In these experiments, the transmittance of a sample is measured through a finite aperture in the far field as the sample is moved along the propagation path (z) of a focused Gaussian beam. The sign and magnitude of the nonlinear refraction are easily deduced from such a transmittance curve (Z-scan). Employing this technique, a sensitivity of better than λ/300 wavefront distortion is achieved in n 2 measurements of BaF2 using picosecond frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser pulses

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Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 4 )