Sep 9, 2011
Vectorial recipe serves up a Xe'ek of multi-waves
The optical nonlinear phenomena of ion-implanted nanoparticles are among the most attractive and fascinating features of the material and make it a promising candidate for use in photonic devices. Reporting their results in the journal Nanotechnology, scientists from the Physics Institute at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the Laboratories of Biomechanics and Mechatronics at the National Polytechnic Institute of México, and the Laboratory of Ultra-Short Laser Pulses at the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education have proposed a two-stage nanostructured system for optical phase modulation. Here, the optical phase modulation of ultra-short laser pulses is been obtained by multi-wave mixing experiments in two different nanocomposites. (Editor's note – a Xe'ek is a Maya ancient expression that describes partially defined mixing.)
In the study, strong refractive nonlinearities with a dependence on polarization were identified in the samples by a picosecond self-diffraction method and a femtosecond time-resolved optical Kerr gate technique. Control of the optical phase results as a consequence of the separated excitation of the self-focusing and self-defocusing phenomena exhibited by Ag and Au nanocomposites, respectively.
The experimental set-up allows compensating positive- or negative-induced birefringence. An ultrafast delay in the components of polarization of laser signals can be achieved without deflecting the beam, just by a change of refractive index.
The combination of these distinct nanosystems makes it possible to visualize new potential applications in optical communications, since they exhibit a sharp, selective and quasi-instantaneous optical temporal response.
Additional information can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.
About the author
The study was conducted by scientists from the Physics Institute at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the National Polytechnic Institute of México and the Laboratory of Ultra-Short Laser Pulses of CICESE-Ensenada. Their collaborative research is focused on modification of ion-implanted materials for all-optical applications.