Ultrafast Silicon Photonics with Visible to Mid-Infrared Pumping of Silicon Nanocrystals

Benjamin T. Diroll, Katelyn S. Schramke, Peijun Guo, Uwe R. Kortshagen, Richard D Schaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dynamic optical control of infrared (IR) transparency and refractive index is achieved using boron-doped silicon nanocrystals excited with mid-IR optical pulses. Unlike previous silicon-based optical switches, large changes in transmittance are achieved without a fabricated structure by exploiting strong light coupling of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) produced from free holes of p-Type silicon nanocrystals. The choice of optical excitation wavelength allows for selectivity between hole heating and carrier generation through intraband or interband photoexcitation, respectively. Mid-IR optical pumping heats the free holes of p-Si nanocrystals to effective temperatures greater than 3500 K. Increases of the hole effective mass at high effective hole temperatures lead to a subpicosecond change of the dielectric function, resulting in a redshift of the LSPR, modulating mid-IR transmission by as much as 27%, and increasing the index of refraction by more than 0.1 in the mid-IR. Low hole heat capacity dictates subpicosecond hole cooling, substantially faster than carrier recombination, and negligible heating of the Si lattice, permitting mid-IR optical switching at terahertz repetition frequencies. Further, the energetic distribution of holes at high effective temperatures partially reverses the Burstein-Moss effect, permitting the modulation of transmittance at telecommunications wavelengths. The results presented here show that doped silicon, particularly in micro-or nanostructures, is a promising dynamic metamaterial for ultrafast IR photonics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6409-6414
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 11 2017

Fingerprint

Silicon
Nanocrystals
Photonics
nanocrystals
pumping
photonics
Infrared radiation
silicon
Photoexcitation
Surface plasmon resonance
surface plasmon resonance
Optical pumping
Heating
Wavelength
transmittance
Infrared transmission
Boron
Optical switches
Metamaterials
Refraction

Keywords

  • doping
  • infrared
  • optical switching
  • plasmonics
  • Silicon photonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Ultrafast Silicon Photonics with Visible to Mid-Infrared Pumping of Silicon Nanocrystals. / Diroll, Benjamin T.; Schramke, Katelyn S.; Guo, Peijun; Kortshagen, Uwe R.; Schaller, Richard D.

In: Nano Letters, Vol. 17, No. 10, 11.10.2017, p. 6409-6414.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Diroll, Benjamin T. ; Schramke, Katelyn S. ; Guo, Peijun ; Kortshagen, Uwe R. ; Schaller, Richard D. / Ultrafast Silicon Photonics with Visible to Mid-Infrared Pumping of Silicon Nanocrystals. In: Nano Letters. 2017 ; Vol. 17, No. 10. pp. 6409-6414.
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