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Proceedings Paper

Nonlinear photothermal mid-infrared spectroscopy
Author(s): Atcha Totachawattana; Shyamsunder Erramilli; Michelle Y. Sander
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Paper Abstract

Mid-infrared photothermal spectroscopy is a pump-probe technique for label-free and non-destructive sample characterization by targeting intrinsic vibrational modes. In this method, the mid-infrared pump beam excites a temperature-induced change in the refractive index of the sample. This laser-induced change in the refractive index is measured by a near-infrared probe laser using lock-in detection. At increased pump powers, emerging nonlinear phenomena not previously demonstrated in other mid-infrared techniques are observed. Nonlinear study of a 6 μm-thick 4-Octyl-4’-Cyanobiphenyl (8CB) liquid crystal sample is conducted by targeting the C=C stretching band at 1606 cm-1. At high pump powers, nonlinear signal enhancement and multiple pitchfork bifurcations of the spectral features are observed. An explanation of the nonlinear peak splitting is provided by the formation of bubbles in the sample at high pump powers. The discontinuous refractive index across the bubble interface results in a decrease in the forward scatter of the probe beam. This effect can be recorded as a bifurcation of the absorption peak in the photothermal spectrum. These nonlinear effects are not present in direct measurements of the mid-infrared beam. Evolution of the nonlinear photothermal spectrum of 8CB liquid crystal with increasing pump power shows enhancement of the absorption peak at 1606 cm-1. Multiple pitchfork bifurcations and spectral narrowing of the photothermal spectrum are demonstrated. This novel nonlinear regime presents potential for improved spectral resolution as well as a new regime for sample characterization in mid-infrared photothermal spectroscopy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9956, Ultrafast Nonlinear Imaging and Spectroscopy IV, 99560Y (5 October 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2238024
Show Author Affiliations
Atcha Totachawattana, Boston Univ. (United States)
Shyamsunder Erramilli, Boston Univ. (United States)
Michelle Y. Sander, Boston Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9956:
Ultrafast Nonlinear Imaging and Spectroscopy IV
Zhiwen Liu, Editor(s)

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