Hot-electron dynamics taking place in nanostructured materials upon irradiation with fs-laser pulses has been the subject of intensive research, leading to the emerging field of ultrafast nanophotonics. However, the most common description of nonlinear interaction with ultrashort laser pulses assumes a homogeneous spatial distribution for the photogenerated carriers. Here we theoretically show that the inhomogeneous evolution of the hot carriers at the nanoscale can disclose unprecedented opportunities for ultrafast diffraction management. In particular, we design a highly symmetric plasmonic metagrating capable of a transient symmetry breaking driven by hot electrons. The subsequent power imbalance between symmetrical diffraction orders is calculated to exceed 20% under moderate (∼2 mJ/cm2) laser fluence. Our theoretical investigation also indicates that the recovery time of the symmetric configuration can be controlled by tuning the geometry of the metaatom, and can be as fast as 2 ps for electrically connected configurations.

All-Optically Reconfigurable Plasmonic Metagrating for Ultrafast Diffraction Management

Schirato A.;Mazzanti A.;Della Valle G.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Hot-electron dynamics taking place in nanostructured materials upon irradiation with fs-laser pulses has been the subject of intensive research, leading to the emerging field of ultrafast nanophotonics. However, the most common description of nonlinear interaction with ultrashort laser pulses assumes a homogeneous spatial distribution for the photogenerated carriers. Here we theoretically show that the inhomogeneous evolution of the hot carriers at the nanoscale can disclose unprecedented opportunities for ultrafast diffraction management. In particular, we design a highly symmetric plasmonic metagrating capable of a transient symmetry breaking driven by hot electrons. The subsequent power imbalance between symmetrical diffraction orders is calculated to exceed 20% under moderate (∼2 mJ/cm2) laser fluence. Our theoretical investigation also indicates that the recovery time of the symmetric configuration can be controlled by tuning the geometry of the metaatom, and can be as fast as 2 ps for electrically connected configurations.
all-optical modulation
diffraction management
hot electrons
Reconfigurable metasurfaces
ultrafast nanophotonics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1166516
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