Large optical nonlinearity of ITO nanorods for sub-picosecond all-optical modulation of the full-visible spectrum

Peijun Guo, Richard D. Schaller, Leonidas E. Ocola, Benjamin T. Diroll, John B. Ketterson, Robert P.H. Chang

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Nonlinear optical responses of materials play a vital role for the development of active nanophotonic and plasmonic devices. Optical nonlinearity induced by intense optical excitation of mobile electrons in metallic nanostructures can provide large-amplitude, dynamic tuning of their electromagnetic response, which is potentially useful for all-optical processing of information and dynamic beam control. Here we report on the sub-picosecond optical nonlinearity of indium tin oxide nanorod arrays (ITO-NRAs) following intraband, on-plasmon-resonance optical pumping, which enables modulation of the full-visible spectrum with large absolute change of transmission, favourable spectral tunability and beam-steering capability. Furthermore, we observe a transient response in the microsecond regime associated with slow lattice cooling, which arises from the large aspect-ratio and low thermal conductivity of ITO-NRAs. Our results demonstrate that all-optical control of light can be achieved by using heavily doped wide-bandgap semiconductors in their transparent regime with speed faster than that of noble metals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12892
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - Sep 29 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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