Abstract

Measurement of transient optical properties (reflectivity and transmissivity) is performed widely in extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) pump–optical probe experiments to study the transient state of irradiated materials. In order to extend the material diagnostics, here we propose an additional measurement of the transient phase change of the optical probe pulse. It can be recorded in parallel to other transient optical properties, enabling access to full information on the complex refractive index and thickness of the radiation-modified material layer. The latter is essential for investigations of phase transitions progressing in XUV (and x-ray) irradiated materials. We perform a computational study that clearly shows that the measurement of the optical phase from a probe pulse at correctly tuned pulse parameters can provide a signal strong enough to extract information on transient material properties. The calculations suggest that in some cases, it is even more preferable to measure the transient phase change than other optical parameters. Such phase measurement, feasible with modern experimental setups, can then be a basis for an improved diagnostics tool for the temporal characteristics of an ultrashort XUV pulse.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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