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Ultrafast pump-probe force microscopy with nanoscale resolution

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We perform time-resolved pump-probe microscopy measurements by recording the local force between a sharp tip and the photo-excited sample as a readout mechanism for the material's nonlinear polarization. We show that the photo-induced force is sensitive to the same excited state dynamics as measured in an optical pump-probe experiment. Ultrafast pump-probe force microscopy constitutes a non-optical detection technique with nanoscale resolution that pushes pump-probe sensitivities close to the realm of single molecule studies.

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