The temperature-dependent reflectivity of metals is quantified by the thermoreflectance coefficient, which is a material-dependent parameter that depends on the metallic band structure, electron scattering dynamics, and photon wavelength. After short-pulse laser heating, the electronic subsystem in a metal can be driven to temperatures much higher than that of the lattice, which gives rise to unique nonequilibrium electron and phonon scattering dynamics, leading to a "hot electron" thermoreflectance that is different from the traditionally measured equilibrium coefficient. In this work, we analytically quantify and experimentally measure this hot electron thermoreflectance coefficient through ultrafast pump-probe measurements of thin gold films on silica glass and sapphire substrates. We demonstrate the ability to not only quantify the thermoreflectance during electron-phonon nonequilibrium but also validate this coefficient's predicted dependence on the absolute temperature of the electronic subsystem. The approach outlined in this work provides a metrology to further understand and quantify excited-state scattering effects on the dielectric function of metals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering