Pulse Propagation Effects in Optical 2D Fourier-Transform Spectroscopy: Theory

J Phys Chem A. 2015 Apr 30;119(17):3936-60. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpca.5b00001. Epub 2015 Apr 16.


A solution to Maxwell's equations in the three-dimensional frequency domain is used to calculate rephasing two-dimensional Fourier transform (2DFT) spectra of the D2 line of atomic rubidium vapor in argon buffer gas. Experimental distortions from the spatial propagation of pulses through the sample are simulated in 2DFT spectra calculated for the homogeneous Bloch line shape model. Spectral features that appear at optical densities of up to 3 are investigated. As optical density increases, absorptive and dispersive distortions start with peak shape broadening, progress to peak splitting, and ultimately result in a previously unexplored coherent transient twisting of the split peaks. In contrast to the low optical density limit, where the 2D peak shape for the Bloch model depends only on the total dephasing time, these distortions of the 2D peak shape at finite optical density vary with the waiting time and the excited state lifetime through coherent transient effects. Experiment-specific conditions are explored, demonstrating the effects of varying beam overlap within the sample and of pseudo-time domain filtering. For beam overlap starting at the sample entrance, decreasing the length of beam overlap reduces the line width along the ωτ axis but also reduces signal intensity. A pseudo-time domain filter, where signal prior to the center of the last excitation pulse is excluded from the FID-referenced 2D signal, reduces propagation distortions along the ωt axis. It is demonstrated that 2DFT rephasing spectra cannot take advantage of an excitation-detection transformation that can eliminate propagation distortions in 2DFT relaxation spectra. Finally, the high optical density experimental 2DFT spectrum of rubidium vapor in argon buffer gas [J. Phys. Chem. A 2013, 117, 6279-6287] is quantitatively compared, in line width, in depth of peak splitting, and in coherent transient peak twisting, to a simulation with optical density higher than that reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Argon / chemistry
  • Fourier Analysis*
  • Quantum Theory*
  • Rubidium / chemistry


  • Argon
  • Rubidium