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Time-Resolved Observation of Electron-Phonon Relaxation During Femtosecond Laser Heating of Copper

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Thermal modulation of the optical properties of metals is a widely used technique in studying critical points in band structure. Recently the modulation of reflectivity of copper has been used to observe nonequilibrium electron-lattice temperatures during picosecond (~5 ps FWHM) laser heating of up to a few degrees1. Although nonequilibrium heating was demonstrated in these experiments, the time resolution was insufficient to resolve electron-phonon relaxation. In a subsequent report, the phenomenon of thermally enhanced multiphoton photoemission was used to time-resolve electron-phonon relaxation in tungsten2. Results indicated that such relaxation is accomplished in a few hundred femtoseconds. We report results obtained using amplified 150-300 fs laser pulses to time-resolve electron-phonon relaxation by monitoring the laser-heating-induced modulation of the transmissivity of 200 Å copper films.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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