A novel ultrafast reflective grating-imaging technique has been developed to measure ambipolar carrier diffusion in GaAs/AlAs quantum wells and bulk GaAs. By integrating a transmission grating and an imaging system into the traditional pump–probe setup, this technique can acquire carrier diffusion properties conveniently and accurately. The fitted results of the diffusion coefficient and diffusion length in bulk GaAs agree well with the literature values obtained by other techniques. The diffusion coefficient and diffusion length of GaAs/AlAs quantum wells are found to increase with the well layer thickness, which suggests that interface roughness scattering dominates carrier diffusion in GaAs/AlAs quantum wells. With the advantages of simple operation, sensitive detection, rapid and nondestructive measurement, and extensive applicability, the ultrafast reflective grating-imaging technique has great potential in experimental study of carrier diffusion in various materials.