Imaging with Femtosecond Optical Pulses

  • M. C. Downer
  • R. L. Fork
  • C. V. Shank
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Chemical Physics book series (CHEMICAL, volume 38)


The interaction of short laser pulses with semiconductors has been studied by a variety of techniques including time-resolved reflectivity, [1–5] transmission, ]1–5] photoluminescence, [1–5] surface ellipsometry, [6] and surface second harmonic generation. [7] In the present work, we report an imaging technique used to obtain the first time-resolved photographs of a silicon surface at fixed time delays ranging from 100 fsec. to 600 psec following excitation with an intense ultrashort optical pulse. When the fluence E of 4he excitation pulse exceeds a threshold value ETH (approximately 0.1 J/cm2, under our experimental conditions) a rapid increase in surface reflectivity occurs which has been widely interpreted [8] as thermal melting. [1–5,9] The photographs depict the evolution of the surface reflectivity during and following melting with a time resolution of 100 fsec. and a spatial resolution of 5 µm. Using a movie camera and elementary synchronization electronics, we have also made a motion picture which shows the continuous sequence of melting, boiling, and material e fiction over a 600 psec period slowed in time by as much as a factor of 1013. The still photographs presented here depict the major events in this sequence.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Laser and Electron Beam Processing of Materials. ed. by C. W. White and P. S. Peercy ( Academic Press, New York, 1980 ).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Laser and Electron Beam Solid Interactions and Material-Processing. eds. J. F. Gibbons, L. D. Hess, and T. W. Sigmon ( North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1981 ).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Laser and Electron Beam interactions with Solids. eds. B. R. Appleton and G. K. Celler ( North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1982 ).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Laser-Solid Interactions and Transient Thermal Processing of Materials. eds. J. Narayan, W. L. Brown, and R. A. Lemons ( North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1983 ).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Picosecond Phenomena III. eds. K. B. Eisenthal, R. M. Hochstrasser, W. Kaiser, and A. Lauberau ( Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1982 ).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    D. H. Auston and C. V. Shank, Phys. Rev. Lett., 32, 1120 (1974).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    C. V. Shank, R. T. Yen and C. Hirlimann, Phys. Rev. Lett., 51., 900 (1983).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    For alternative interpretations, see J. A. Van Vechten, R. Tsui, and F. W. Sans, Phys. Lett., 24A, 422 (1979); see also J. A. Van Vechten, in Ref. 3, pp. 49–60.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    C. V. Shank, R. Yen, and C. Hirlimann, Phys. Rev. Lett., 5Q, 454 (1983).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. L. Fork, B. I. Greene, and C. V. Shank, Appl. Phys. Lett., 5, 671 (1981).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    R. L. Fork, C. V. Shank, and R. Yen, Appl. Phys. Lett., 4., 223 (1982).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    R. L. Fork, C. V. Shank, C. Hirlimann, R. Yen, and W. J. Tomlinson, Opt. Lett., a, 1 (1983).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    R. Yen, J. M. Liu, H. Kurz, and N. Bloembergen, in Ref. 3, pp. 3742.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    J. M. Liu, R. Yen, H. Kurz, and N. Bloembergen, Appl. Phys. Lett., 39, 755 (1981).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    M. Hanabusa, M. Suzuki, and S. Nishigaki, Appl. Phys. Lett., 38, 385 (1981).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    B. Stritzker, A. Pospieszczyk, and J. A. Tagle, Phys. Rev. Lett., 47, 356 (1981).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    M. C. Downer, R. L. Fork, and C. V. Shank, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B, to be published.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Downer
    • 1
  • R. L. Fork
    • 1
  • C. V. Shank
    • 1
  1. 1.AT & T Bell LaboratoriesHolmdelUSA

Personalised recommendations