Nanophotonics and metamaterials have revolutionized the way we think about optical space (ɛ,μ), enabling us to engineer the refractive index almost at will, to confine light to the smallest of the volumes, and to manipulate optical signals with extremely small footprints and energy requirements. Significant efforts are now devoted to finding suitable materials and strategies for the dynamic control of the optical properties. Transparent conductive oxides exhibit large ultrafast nonlinearities under both interband and intraband excitations. Here we show that combining these two effects in aluminium-doped zinc oxide via a two-colour laser field discloses new material functionalities. Owing to the independence of the two nonlinearities, the ultrafast temporal dynamics of the material permittivity can be designed by acting on the amplitude and delay of the two fields. We demonstrate the potential applications of this novel degree of freedom by dynamically addressing the modulation bandwidth and optical spectral tuning of a probe optical pulse.
- materials for optics
- nonlinear optics