Publication
Journal of Optics (United Kingdom)
Paper

Ultrafast infrared plasmon switching in aligned carbon-nanotube optical resonators

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Abstract

Reconfigurable plasmonic materials are crucial components in active photonic devices for optical communication, signal processing, and sensing applications. Certain candidates including transparent conducting oxides, small-bandgap semiconductors (i.e. Ge, InSb), and conducting polymers can exhibit switchable free carrier concentrations triggered by optical, electrical or thermal excitations. Here, we show that aligned films of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) can serve as all-optically tunable plasmonic material in the mid-infrared range, thereby adding them to the library of switchable plasmonic materials. Interband optical pumping with femtosecond laser pulses results in the photoexcitation of free charge carriers, which transiently blueshifts the plasmon resonances of patterned, periodic SWCNT nano-resonators spanning the mid-infrared spectral range from 1700 to 2700 cm-1. The ultrafast plasmon modulation exhibits a nearly single-picosecond decay time, attributed to interband carrier relaxation and inter-tube charge transfer. Given that aligned films of SWCNTs have high thermal stability, excellent photostability, epsilon-near-zero property, and extremely large optical anisotropy, their dynamic tunability represents a promising pathway towards active optical devices in the technologically important mid-infrared range.

Date

07 Mar 2022

Publication

Journal of Optics (United Kingdom)

Authors

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