Study of Impulsive Stimulated Raman Scattering Effects Using the Femtosecond Pump–Probe Z-Scan Technique
Impulsive stimulated Raman scattering (ISRS) is a nonlinear pump–probe spectroscopy technique particularly suitable to study vibrational intermolecular and intramolecular modes in complex systems. For the latter, recent studies of ISRS microscopy with low-energy laser sources have attracted attention for investigation of photosensitive or biological samples. Following this stream of interest, in this paper, we report an investigation on the relationship between femtosecond ISRS data and pump–probe Z-scan measurements, showing that the latter technique is capable of capturing the Kerr nonlinearities induced by the molecular vibrational modes. To this aim, firstly, spectrally filtered and Raman-induced Kerr ISRS signals were simultaneously acquired to determine the sample nonlinear response and to establish the reference data for the Z-scan analysis. Then, by adopting a suitable experimental arrangement to avoid thermo-optical effects, we were able to unambiguously observe the Raman-induced effects in Z-scan measurements, thus obtaining a consistent picture between ISRS and Z-scan for the first time, to the best of our knowledge. Practical applications of the proposed method include calibrated measurements of the contribution of the internal (Raman) and external molecular modes to the nonlinear refractive index.