Enhanced nonlinear refractive index in ε-near-zero materials

L Caspani, R P M Kaipurath, M Clerici, M Ferrera, T Roger, J Kim, N Kinsey, Monika Pietrzyk, Andrea Di Falco, V M Shalaev, A Boltasseva, D Faccio

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382 Citations (Scopus)
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New propagation regimes for light arise from the ability to tune the dielectric permittivity to extremely low values. Here, we demonstrate a universal approach based on the low linear permittivity values attained in the ε-near-zero (ENZ) regime for enhancing the nonlinear refractive index, which enables remarkable light-induced changes of the material properties. Experiments performed on Al-doped ZnO (AZO) thin films show a sixfold increase of the Kerr nonlinear refractive index (n2) at the ENZ wavelength, located in the 1300 nm region. This in turn leads to ultrafast light-induced refractive index changes of the order of unity, thus representing a new paradigm for nonlinear optics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number233901
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
Early online date8 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016


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