Advancements in technologies related to thin film growth have led to astoundingly complex integrated photonic devices. The reliability of these devices relies upon the precise control of the band gap and absorption mechanisms in the thin film structures. Photon absorption in these devices can result in a reduction of laser efficiency as well as thermal runaway. To improve device performance prediction, an increased understanding of the localized absorption processes is paramount. A pump-probe technique is being developed to measure the transient absorption during hot carrier relaxation. This method relies upon the generation of hot carriers by the absorption of an intense ultrashort laser pulse. The change in reflectance due to hot carrier generation and relaxation is monitored using a probe pulse focused at the center of the excited region. The transient reflectance is measured as a function of the relative delay between the pump and probe pulses. Utilizing ultrashort laser pulses (τp ∼ 190 fs) it is possible to attain sub-picosecond resolution of the transient reflectance during hot carrier relaxation. Transient changes in the reflectance can then be related to transient changes in the absorption mechanisms of the film. Preliminary measurements made with this technique have shown clear differences in the transient reflectance of doped and undoped Indium Phosphide (InP) based films. This study will form the basis for development of a transient thermoreflectance model during hot carrier relaxation in III-V semiconductors.

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