Degenerate optical nonlinear enhancement in epsilon-near-zero transparent conductive oxides

Enrico Giuseppe Carnemolla, Lucia Caspani, Clayton DeVault, Matteo Clerici, Stefano Vezzoli, Vincenzo Bruno, Vladimir M. Shalaev, Daniele Faccio, Alexandra Boltasseva, Marcello Ferrera

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We report the simultaneous increase of both nonlinear Kerr coefficient n2 and thirdorder nonlinear susceptibility χ(3) in aluminum zinc oxide (AZO) attained by pump-probe spectroscopy in a frequency degenerate configuration. Our experiments demonstrate a 6-fold enhancement in the third-order nonlinear susceptibility and over one order of magnitude increase in the nonlinear Kerr coefficient, while also determining two distinct operational wavelengths for optimal modulation of either the real or the imaginary part of the complex refractive index. These results, besides providing a broader spectral characterization of the third-order nonlinearity in AZO thin films, also show the fundamental advantages of performing nonlinear optics via degenerate excitation near the ENZ wavelength.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3392-3400
Number of pages9
JournalOptical Materials Express
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2018


  • aluminum zinc oxide
  • AZO thin films
  • nanophotonics


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