Optical switching based on nondegenerate optical nonlinearity of Au:SiO2 nanocomposite film

Optical switching based on nondegenerate optical nonlinearity of Au:SiO2 nanocomposite film
surface plasmon; optical switching; attenuated total reflection; nondegenerate nonlinearity; metal-dielectric nanocomposite
Issue Date
International conference on advanced materials and devices 2009
, 366-366
Nanocomposite (NC) films consisting of metal nanoparticles dispersed in a dielectric matrix have attracted considerable attention as a promising candidate for future all-optical switching devices due to their peculiar optical properties, i.e. large third-order optical nonlinearity and ultra-fast temporal response, which originates from the excitation of so-called surface plasmon (SP). The NC films, despite their excellent optical properties, have not yet been applied to their potential field of integrated optics using guided wave. This is mainly due to the excessive optical loss related with the SP resonance (SPR) which necessarily accompanies absorption of light. In our recent work, we tackled this problem by providing a way of generating a guided wave of a near infrared light of 1550 nm, where the optical loss diminished significantly, and modulating it with an external pump beam of 532 nm close to the SPR wavelength. The optical switching by the cw pump beam was ascribed to the light absorption induced thermo-optic effect. In this study, we extend our approach to pulsed laser operation to test the switching mechanism by the effect of nondegenerate optical nonlinearity. An attenuated total reflection type optical switch geometry was employed with a waveguide of Au:SiO2 NC film fabricated directly on the basal plane of SF10 prism. Pump-probe optical switching was carried out tracing the reflectivity curve of guided TE0 mode to determine sign and magnitude of the optical nonlinearity observed nonlinearity. Fundamental mode of 1064 nm and a second harmonic of 532 nm of a mode-locked Nd:YAG laser with 30 ps pulse width were used as the pump pulse and the nonlinear dispersion was investigated quantitatively. (Grant from Center for Nanostructured Materials Technology (2009K000459))
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