Ultrafast switching of tunable infrared plasmons in indium tin oxide nanorod arrays with large absolute amplitude

Peijun Guo, Richard D Schaller, John B. Ketterson, Robert P. H. Chang

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114 Citations (Scopus)


All-optical control of plasmons can enable optical switches with high speeds, small footprints and high on/off ratios. Here we demonstrate ultrafast plasmon modulation in the near-infrared (NIR) to mid-infrared (MIR) range by intraband pumping of indium tin oxide nanorod arrays (ITO-NRAs). We observe redshifts of localized surface plasmon resonances arising from a change of the plasma frequency of ITO, which is governed by the conduction band non-parabolicity. We generalize the plasma frequency for non-parabolic bands, quantitatively model the fluence-dependent plasma frequency shifts, and show that different from noble metals, the lower electron density in ITO enables a remarkable change of electron distributions, yielding a significant plasma frequency modulation and concomitant large transient bleaches and induced absorptions, which can be tuned spectrally by tailoring the ITO-NRA geometry. The low electron heat capacity explains the sub-picosecond kinetics that is much faster than noble metals. Our work demonstrates a new scheme to control infrared plasmons for optical switching, telecommunications and sensing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Photonics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 22 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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