2021 journal article

Broadband micro-transient absorption spectroscopy enabled by improved lock-in amplification

Review of Scientific Instruments.

By: H. Ardekani n, R. Wilmington n, M. Vutukuru*, Z. Chen*, R. Brandt*, A. Swan*, K. Gundogdu n

Source: ORCID
Added: October 10, 2021

Recent breakthroughs in material development have increased the demand for characterization methods capable of probing nanoscale features on ultrafast time scales. As the sample reduces to atomically thin levels, an extremely low-level signal limits the feasibility of many experiments. Here, we present an affordable and easy-to-implement solution to expand the maximum sensitivity of lock-in detection systems used in transient absorption spectroscopy by multiple orders of magnitude. By implementation of a tuned RC circuit to the output of an avalanche photodiode, electric pulse shaping allows for vastly improved lock-in detection. Furthermore, a carefully designed "peak detector" circuit provides additional pulse shaping benefits, resulting in even more lock-in detection signal enhancement. We demonstrate the improvement of lock-in detection with each of these schemes by performing benchmark measurements of a white-light continuum signal and micro-transient absorption spectroscopy on a few-layer transition metal dichalcogenide sample. Our results show the practicality of ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy for many high-sensitivity experimental schemes.