Disclosed herein is a method and a system for non-destructively examining a semiconductor sample (30) having at least one localized region underlying a surface (30a) through into which a selected chemical species has been implanted or diffused. A first step induces at least one transient time-varying change in optical constants of the sample at a location at or near to a surface of the sample. A second step measures a response of the sample to an optical probe beam, either pulsed or continuous wave, at least during a time that the optical constants are varying. A third step associates the measured response with at least one of chemical species concentration, chemical species type, implant energy, a presence or absence of an introduced chemical species region at the location, and a presence or absence of implant-related damage. The method and apparatus in accordance with this invention can be employed in conjunction with a measurement of one or more of the following effects arising from a time-dependent change in the optical constants of the sample due to the application of at least one pump pulse: (a) a change in reflected intensity; (b) a change in transmitted intensity; (c) a change in a polarization state of the reflected and/or transmitted light; (d) a change in the optical phase of the reflected and/or transmitted light; (e) a change in direction of the reflected and/or transmitted light; and (f) a change in optical path length between the sample's surface and a detector.