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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Enhanced nonlinearities in transparent conducting oxides for ultrafast photonics (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Clayton T. DeVault; Nathaniel Kinsey; Lucia Caspani; Matteo Clerici; Kaipurath Muhammad Rishad; Thomas Roger; Enrico Carnemolla; Jongbum Kim; Amr M. Shaltout; Monica Pietrzyk; Andrea Di Falco; Daniele Faccio; Alexandra Boltasseva; Marcello Ferrera; Vladimir M. Shalaev

Paper Abstract

Coherent control of nonlinear and ultrafast plasmon-polariton mediated interactions has attracted wide attention for its potential for enhancing functionality in nano-scale photonic devices and applications. Contemporary research in ultrafast and nonlinear plasmonics primarily utilizes noble metals, such as gold and silver, as material platforms because of their high performance both in linear and nonlinear optical properties. Unfortunately, noble metals possess numerous drawbacks including low melting points, chemical instabilities, and an incompatibility with standard CMOS processing techniques, all of which hamper their incorporation into functional plasmonic devices. Here we investigate the mid-infrared ultrafast and nonlinear properties of the alternative plasmonic material, aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO). By performing time-resolved pump-probe spectroscopy, we observe an unprecedentedly large and ultrafast (sub-picosecond) response in AZO thin films for both intra- and inter-band pumping frequencies. These two nonlinearities arise from distinct electron excitation dynamics and, as such, can be controlled simultaneously and independently to provide a novel method of dynamic tunability. We demonstrate this phenomenon with two-color excitation and find our AZO films exhibit a THz modulation bandwidth. We also probed the nonlinear response of AZO films at the epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) frequency and observed a dramatic increase in the Kerr nonlinearity with an induced refractive index change on the order of unity. In summary, our ultrafast and nonlinear studies strongly support AZO as an alternative plasmonic material with qualities pertinent to the development and realization of practical plasmonic technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 2017
Proc. SPIE 10345, Active Photonic Platforms IX, 103450Z (29 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2274061
Show Author Affiliations
Clayton T. DeVault, Purdue Univ. (United States)
Nathaniel Kinsey, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (United States)
Lucia Caspani, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Matteo Clerici, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Kaipurath Muhammad Rishad, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Thomas Roger, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Enrico Carnemolla, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Jongbum Kim, Purdue Univ. (United States)
Amr M. Shaltout, Purdue Univ. (United States)
Monica Pietrzyk, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
Andrea Di Falco, Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
Daniele Faccio, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Alexandra Boltasseva, Purdue Univ. (United States)
Marcello Ferrera, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Vladimir M. Shalaev, Purdue Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10345:
Active Photonic Platforms IX
Ganapathi S. Subramania; Stavroula Foteinopoulou, Editor(s)

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