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VOLUME 76 | ISSUE 7 | PAGE 538
Ultrafast laser-induced phase transitions in tellurium
S. I. Ashitkov, M. B. Agranat, P. S. Kondratenko, S. I. Anisimov, V. E. Fortov, V. V. Temnov+*, K. Sokolowski-Tinten*, B. Rethfeld*, P. Zhou*, D. von der Linde*
Institute of High Energy Density, Joint Institute for High Temperatures RAS, 127412 Moscow, Russia
+Institute of Applied Physics RAS, 603600 Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
*Institute for Laser and Plasma Physics, University of Essen, 45117 Essen, Germany

PACS: 63.90.+t, 78.90.+t
We present experimental investigations of ultrafast phase transitions in tellurium following excitation with an intense femtosecond laser pulse. Femtosecond time-resolved polarization- sensitive microscopy is used to monitor the temporal evolution of the optical anisotropy (birefringence) of the irradiated material. The decay of the optical anisotropy associated with the loss of order in crystalline tellurium is fluence dependent and occurs within 0.5-3 ps.

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