Giant nonlinear optical activity in a plasmonic metamaterial

Ren, M., Plum, E., Xu, J. and Zheludev, N.I. (2012) Giant nonlinear optical activity in a plasmonic metamaterial. Nature Communications, 3, 833-[5pp]. (doi:10.1038/ncomms1805). (PMID:22588295).


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In 1950, a quarter of a century after his first ever nonlinear optical experiment when intensity dependent absorption was observed in uranium-doped glass, Sergey Vavilov predicted that birefringence, dichroism and polarization rotatory power should be dependent on light intensity. It required the invention of the laser to observe the barely detectable effect of light intensity on the polarization rotary power of the optically active lithium iodate crystal, the phenomenon now known as the nonlinear optical activity, a high-intensity counterpart of the fundamental optical effect of polarization rotation in chiral media. Here we report that a plasmonic metamaterial exhibits nonlinear optical activity 30 million times stronger than lithium iodate crystals thus transforming this fundamental phenomenon of polarization nonlinear optics from an esoteric phenomenon into a major effect of nonlinear plasmonics with potential for practical applications.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1038/ncomms1805
ISSNs: 2041-1723 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: physical sciences, optical physics
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Divisions : Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Optoelectronics Research Centre
ePrint ID: 339002
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
15 May 2012Published
Date Deposited: 21 May 2012 14:00
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:28
Nanostructured Photonic Metamaterials
Funded by: EPSRC (EP/G060363/1)
Led by: Nikolay Zheludev
1 January 2010 to 31 December 2015

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