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Chin. Phys. B, 2012, Vol. 21(4): 047804    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/21/4/047804

Size-dependent nonlinear absorption and refraction of Ag nanoparticles excited by femtosecond lasers

Fan Guang-Hua(范光华)a), Qu Shi-Liang(曲士良)a)†, Guo Zhong-Yi(郭忠义)a)b), Wang Qiang(王强)a), and Li Zhong-Guo(李中国)c)
a. Department of Optoelectronics Science, Harbin Institute of Technology at Weihai, Weihai 264209, China;
b. Department of Physics, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China;
c. School of Physical Science and Technology, Suzhou University, Suzhou 215006, China
Abstract  Silver (Ag) nanoparticles with different average sizes are prepared, and the nonlinear absorption and refraction of these nanoparticles are investigated with femtosecond laser pulses at 800 nm. The smallest Ag nanoparticles show insignificant nonlinear absorption, whereas the larger ones show saturable absorption. By considering the previously reported positive nonlinear absorption of 9 nm Ag nanoparticles, the nonlinear absorptions of Ag nanoparticles are found to be size-dependent. All these nonlinear absorptions can be compatibly explained from the viewpoints of electronic transitions, energy bands and electronic structures in the conduction band of Ag nanoparticles. The nonlinear refraction is attributed to the effect of hot electrons arising from the intraband transition in the s-p conduction band of Ag nanoparticles.
Keywords:  nonlinear absorption      nonlinear refraction      silver nanoparticles      electronic structures  
Received:  19 August 2011      Revised:  03 November 2011      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  78.67.Bf (Nanocrystals, nanoparticles, and nanoclusters)  
  73.22.Dj (Single particle states)  
  42.65.Re (Ultrafast processes; optical pulse generation and pulse compression)  
  42.70.Nq (Other nonlinear optical materials; photorefractive and semiconductor materials)  
Fund: Project supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province, China (Grant No. A200912), and the Program of Excellent Team in the Harbin Institute of Technology, China, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 60907023 and 10904027).
Corresponding Authors:  Qu Shi-Liang,     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Fan Guang-Hua(范光华), Qu Shi-Liang(曲士良), Guo Zhong-Yi(郭忠义), Wang Qiang(王强), and Li Zhong-Guo(李中国) Size-dependent nonlinear absorption and refraction of Ag nanoparticles excited by femtosecond lasers 2012 Chin. Phys. B 21 047804

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