Analysis of data acquired in time-domain thermoreflectance (TDTR) experiments requires accurate measurements of the thickness of the metal film optical transducer that absorbs energy from the pump optical pulse and provides a temperature dependent reflectivity that is interrogated by the probe optical pulse. This thickness measurement is typically accomplished using picosecond acoustics. The presence of contaminants and native oxides at the interface between the sample and transducer often produce a picosecond acoustics signal that is difficult to interpret. We describe heuristics for addressing this common difficulty in interpreting picosecond acoustic data. The use of these heuristics can reduce the propagation of uncertainties and improve the accuracy of TDTR measurements of thermal transport properties.
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