TDTR Training Materials

(Under construction)

Acknowledgement:  This work was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Career Development Program Grant No. 1653270).

Below is a series of materials to help train new users (and hopefully builders) of time domain thermoreflectance (TDTR) systems.  Because the potential audience for this is quite diverse, information is given at wide range of detail-level spanning that hopefully accommodates everyone from the complete newcomer  to TDTR gurus; some of the information is generic but in many cases I’ve tried to include quantitative performance examples and give specific examples of model numbers/equipment.  Information is given about a wide variety of different TDTR systems/layouts in use, though most of my own experience is with two-tint TDTR a la David Cahill’s design at UIUC, so there is some bias in that direction.


What to Expect:  Course Layout (slides / video)

What is TDTR? An Overview (slides / video)


Preliminary Concepts:

Intro to Polarization Optics

What is polarization?

Common polarization optics:

Polarizing Beam Splitters (PBS)

λ/2 (halfwave) plates

λ/2-plate, PBS combo for power adjustment

Faraday isolators

Electro-optic modulators


TDTR Hardware:

Common Variants of TDTR (two polarization vs. two color)

Walkthrough of Two-Tint TDTR Hardware

Generating laser pulses

Laser Power Selection

Dividing the pulses into “Pump” and “Probe”

Modulating the Pump pulses

Advancing the Pump arrival time

Recombining the Pump/Probe

Focusing the Laser on the Sample

Measuring the Change in Reflected Probe Beam

Rejecting the Reflected Pump Beam

Lockin Amplification of the Signal






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