# Coherent two-photon processes: Transient and steady-state cases

## Abstract

A class of molecular two-photon processes, occurring under transient or steady-state conditions, is analyzed exactly for certain cases using a density-matrix formalism. Our results are relevant to the recently observed phenomena of transient coherent Raman beats and steady-state two-photon absorption of oppositely directed laser beams. Lowest-order perturbation theories have shown that these processes are insensitive to the Doppler effect, and consequently the linewidth is unaffected by Doppler broadening and by elastic collisions that change molecular velocity. The solutions presented here are of the same form for the Raman and two-photon problems and reveal significant power-dependent frequency shifts and line broadening that correct the ideal Doppler-free solutions. For the transient case, we assume a molecular three-level quantum structure that can be switched in or out of optical resonance with cw laser radiation by means of a pulsed dc Stark field, but the solutions also apply when resonant optical pulses are introduced. During the resonant condition when the Stark pulse is on, the three levels are prepared in coherent superposition, and during the nonresonant condition following the Stark pulse, the laser field(s) stimulates the coherently prepared sample in a transient two-photon process. One of these processes, the Ramanbeat effect, has been observed in forward scattering, but the second one, transient two-photon emission, should be observable in backward scattering. Bloch-like equations are derived for this three-level problem that facilitate an exact pulse solution for state preparation. Following the pulse, transient decay is well-approximated by a perturbation calculation. For the steady-state case, an exact solution is also obtained and is of interest for continuous-wave spectroscopy or for transient experiments requiring an initial preparation of quantum states, prior to Stark switching. These solutions exhibit a power-dependent line broadening and a frequency shift of magnitude ∼Δ(α2-β2)(Δ2+1T22), in agreement with our earlier estimate, where α and β are the Rabi flopping frequencies for the two intermediate transitions and Δ is the off-resonance tuning behavior for one of them. © 1975 The American Physical Society.