Ultrafast Raman Loss Spectroscopy (URLS) : Understanding Resonant Excitation Response And Linewidth Changes
Adithya Lakshmanna, Y
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Raman spectroscopy involves change in the polarizability of the molecular system on excitation and is based on scattering process. Spontaneous Raman scattering is a two photon process, in which the input light initiates the excitation, which then leads to an emission of another photon due to scattering. It is extensively used to understand molecular properties. As spontaneous Raman scattering is a weak process, the detection of these weak Raman photons are rather difficult. Alternatively, resonance Raman (RR) scattering is another technique where the excitation wavelength is chosen according to the material under study. The excitation wavelength is chosen to be within the absorption spectrum of the material under study. RR spectroscopy not only provides considerable improvement in the intensity of the Raman signal, but also provides mode specific information i.e. the modes which are Franck-Condon active in that transition can be observed. There are reports on RR studies of many systems using pulsed light as an excitation source. It is necessary to use at least two pulsed laser sources for carrying out the time resolved RR spectroscopy. A single pulse source for excitation would lead to compromise either with temporal or spectral resolution which is due to the uncertainty principle. If an excitation pulse has pulse width of ~100 femtoseconds then the spectral resolution will be ~ 150 cm-1. It is clear now that for improving the temporal and spectral resolution simultaneously, usage of single pulse for Raman experiments (spontaneous scattering) is not adequate. The usage of multiple laser pulses may provide the way out to improve the resolutions. Nonlinear spectroscopy in a broad view helps in understanding the structural and dynamical properties of the molecular systems in a deeper manner. There are a number of techniques as a part of nonlinear spectroscopy that have emerged in due course to meet different requirements and to overcome some difficulties while understanding the molecular properties. Stimulated Raman (SRS) gain, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and the inverse Raman spectroscopy are a few to mention as third order nonlinear spectroscopic techniques which give the similar kind of information about the molecular systems. Stimulated Raman scattering is a more general process involved in nonlinear Raman processes. SRS involves at least two laser pulses and the difference in their frequencies should match with the vibrational frequency of the molecule. The polarization has to be matched between the Raman pump and the Raman probe pulses. We have developed a new nonlinear Raman technique in our laboratory named as ultrafast Raman loss spectroscopy (URLS) using the principles of nonlinear Raman scattering. It involves the Raman pump (~ 1 picosecond (ps) or ~ 15 cm-1spectral resolution) and Raman probe as a white light continuum (100 fs) whose frequency components ranges from 400-900 nm. The laser system consists of Tsunami which is pumped by a Millennia laser and Spitfire-Pro, a regenerative amplifier which is pumped by an Empower laser. Tsunami provides a 100 fs, 780 nm centered, 80 MHz and ~6 nJ energy laser pulses. The Tsunami output is fed into Spitfire to amplify its energy and change the repetition rate to 1 KHz. The pulse length of the input pulse is preserved in amplification. The output of amplifier is split into two equal parts; one part is used to pump the Optical Parametric Amplifier (OPA) in order to generate wavelengths in the range 480-800 nm. The output of the OPA is utilized to generate Raman pump which has to be in ps in order to get the best spectral resolution. A small portion of the other part of amplifier output is utilized to generate white light source for the Raman probe. The remaining part of the amplifier output is used to pump TOPAS to generate wavelengths in the ultraviolet region. URLS has been applied to many molecular systems which range from non-fluorescent to highly fluorescent. URLS has been demonstrated to be very sensitive and useful while dealing with highly fluorescent systems. URLS is a unique technique due to its high sensitivity and the Raman loss signal intensity is at least 1.5-2 times higher as compared to the Raman gain signal intensities. Cresyl violet perchlorate (CVP) is a highly fluorescent system. URLS has been applied to study CVP even at resonance excitation. Rhodamine B has also been studied using URLS. Spontaneous Raman scattering is very difficult to observe experimentally in such high quantum yield fluorescent systems. The variation in the lineshapes of the Raman bands for different RP excitation wavelengths in URLS spectra shows the mode dependent behavior of the absorption spectrum. The experimental observation of variation in the lineshape has been accounted using theoretical formalism. The thesis is focused on discussing the development of the new nonlinear Raman spectroscopic technique URLS in detail and its applicability to molecular systems for better understanding. A theoretical formalism for accounting the uniqueness of URLS among the other nonlinear Raman techniques is developed and discussed in various pictorial representations i.e. ladder, Feynman and closed loop diagrams. A brief overview of nonlinear spectroscopy and nonlinear Raman spectroscopy is presented for demonstrating the difference between the URLS and the other nonlinear Raman techniques.
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