What if it turns out what we knew about nonlinear optics wasn't the whole story? What might new technological advances now be possible?
BGU engineering researchers have discovered that the accepted understanding of nonlinear optics for the past 50 years might have missed out on some key interactions.
Their findings were published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Optics Express.
While researching optical second-harmonic generation (SHG) from gold-silver heterodimers, the team discovered that they were an order of magnitude more intense than homodimers made from either gold or silver.
Second-harmonic generation is a process that doubles the frequency of a given beam.
A homodimer/heterodimer is a system made from two adjacent nanoparticles (also known as plasmonic nanoantenna). "We are very pleased to have discovered a strong new harmonic generation that makes us rethink the entire field of nonlinear optics," says lead author Dr. Avi Niv (picture above) of the Alexandre Yersin Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at BGU, "This discovery has the potential to open up new applications such as all-optical switching and logical gates. It can also improve existing photovoltaics communication technologies.”
Additional researchers include Prof. Mark Schvartzman of BGU's Department of Materials Engineering, Prof. Yonatan Sivan of BGU's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and students Maya H. Shor Peled, Esti Toledo, Shilpi Shital, Achyut Maity, and Mandira Pal.