Controlling nanoscale optical emission with off-resonant laser light

D.L. Andrews, J.M. Leeder, D.S. Bradshaw

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In the optical excitation of many nanoscale systems, the primary result of photon absorption is an electronic excitation that is typically followed by ultrafast relaxation processes. The losses associated with such relaxation generally produce a partial degradation of the optical energy acquired, before any ensuing photon emission occurs. Recent work has shown that the intensity and directional character of such emission may be significantly influenced through engagement with a completely off-resonant probe laser beam of sufficient intensity: the mechanism for this optical coupling is a secondorder nonlinearity. It is anticipated that the facility to actively control fluorescent emission in this way may lead to new opportunities in a variety of applications where molecular chromophores or quantum dots are used. In the latter connection it should prove possible to exploit the particle size dependence of the nonlinear optical dispersion, as well as that of the emission wavelength. Specific characteristics of the effect are calculated, and suitable experimental implementations of the mechanism are proposed. We anticipate that this all-optical control device may introduce significant new perspectives to fluorescence imaging techniques and other analytical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Lasers
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photons
  • Quantum dots
  • Particles
  • Luminescence
  • Absorption
  • Dispersion

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