, Volume 85, Issue 4, pp 557-564
Date: 10 Aug 2006

A femtosecond stimulated raman spectrograph for the near ultraviolet

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The design of a femtosecond stimulated Raman spectrograph (FSRS) optimized for measurements in the near UV is presented. It features a 387.5 nm Raman pump pulse causing a (pre-)resonance enhancement for molecular absorbing in the UV. As many photoreactive molecules absorb there, the set-up is particularly suited to study photochemical reactions. The 387.5 nm pulses are generated by frequency adding two femtosecond laser pulses with linear chirps, equal in magnitude but opposite in sign. This results in intense and spectrally narrow (∼10 cm-1) Raman pump pulses which allow recording of Raman spectra with a good spectral resolution. The power of the spectrograph to trace ultrafast photoreactions is illustrated by measurements on the photochemistry of o-nitrobenzaldehyde.