Femtosecond time-resolved absorption processes in lithium niobate crystals
emtosecond pump pulses are strongly attenuated in lithium niobate owing to two-photon absorption; the relevant nonlinear coefficient beta_p ranges from ~3.5 cm/GW for lambda_p = 388 nm to ~0.1 cm/GW for 514 nm. In collinear pump-probe experiments the probe transmission at the double pump wavelength 2lambda_p=776 nm is controlled by two different processes: A direct absorption process involving pump and probe photons (beta_r ~ or = 0.9 cm/GW) leads to a pronounced short-duration transmission dip, whereas the probe absorption by pump-excited charge carriers results in a long-duration plateau. Coherent pump-probe interactions are of no importance. Hot-carrier relaxation occurs on the time scale of < or ~0.1 ps.