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Plasmonic resonant nonlinearity and synthetic optical properties in gold nanorod suspensions

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We experimentally demonstrate self-trapping of light, as a result of plasmonic resonant optical nonlinearity, in both aqueous and organic (toluene) suspensions of gold nanorods. The threshold power for soliton formation is greatly reduced in toluene as opposed to aqueous suspensions. It is well known that the optical gradient forces are optimized at off-resonance wavelengths at which suspended particles typically exhibit a strong positive (or negative) polarizability. However, surprisingly, as we tune the wavelength of the optical beam from a continuous-wave (CW) laser, we find that the threshold power is reduced by more than threefold at the plasmonic resonance frequency. By analyzing the optical forces and torque acting on the nanorods, we show theoretically that it is possible to align the nanorods inside a soliton waveguide channel into orthogonal orientations by using merely two different laser wavelengths. We perform a series of experiments to examine the transmission of the soliton-forming beam itself, as well as the polarization transmission spectrum of a low-power probe beam guided along the soliton channel. It is found that the expected synthetic anisotropic properties are too subtle to be clearly observed, in large part due to Brownian motion of the solvent molecules and a limited ordering region where the optical field from the self-trapped beam is strong enough to overcome thermodynamic fluctuations. The ability to achieve tunable nonlinearity and nanorod orientations in colloidal nanosuspensions with low-power CW laser beams may lead to interesting applications in all-optical switching and transparent display technologies.




基金项目:Army Research Office (ARO)10.13039/100000183 (W911NF-15-1-0413); National Science Foundation (NSF)10.13039/100000001 (PHY-1404510); National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFA0303800); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)10.13039/501100001809 (11504184).




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Huizhong Xu:Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132, USA
Pepito Alvaro:Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132, USA
Yinxiao Xiang:Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132, USA
Trevor S. Kelly:Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132, USA
Yu-Xuan Ren:Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132, USA
Chensong Zhang:Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132, USA
Zhigang Chen:Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132, USATEDA Applied Physics Institute and School of Physics, Nankai University, Tianjin 300457, China

联系人作者:Zhigang Chen(zhigang@sfsu.edu)

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Huizhong Xu, Pepito Alvaro, Yinxiao Xiang, Trevor S. Kelly, Yu-Xuan Ren, Chensong Zhang, and Zhigang Chen, "Plasmonic resonant nonlinearity and synthetic optical properties in gold nanorod suspensions," Photonics Research 7(1), 28-35 (2019)

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