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Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Editor: Grover Swartzlander
  • Vol. 31, Iss. 6 — Jun. 1, 2014
  • pp: A13–A19

Nonlinear quantum tunneling effects in nanoplasmonic environments: two-photon absorption and harmonic generation

Joseph W. Haus, Domenico de Ceglia, Maria Antonietta Vincenti, and Michael Scalora  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 31, Issue 6, pp. A13-A19 (2014)

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We use a quantum mechanical approach to derive a set of linear and nonlinear quantum conductivity coefficients for metal–insulator–metal structures with nanometer sized gaps. The immediate proximity of metallic objects generates a tunneling AC current density that endows the gap region with additional linear and nonlinear coefficients that in turn trigger linear and nonlinear absorption, and second- and third-harmonic generation. For example, a vacuum gap approximately 0.8 nm thick displays an effective |χ(2)|0.1pm/V for adjacent objects composed of dissimilar metals and an effective |χ(3)|1020m2/V2 for either similar or dissimilar metals, increasing exponentially for smaller gaps. Field localization inside the gap ensures that harmonic generation arising from the gap region overwhelms intrinsic metal second- and third-order nonlinearities.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.1600) General : Classical and quantum physics
(190.0190) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics
(190.4350) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics at surfaces
(240.4350) Optics at surfaces : Nonlinear optics at surfaces
(250.5403) Optoelectronics : Plasmonics

Original Manuscript: February 4, 2014
Revised Manuscript: February 28, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: March 1, 2014
Published: April 1, 2014

Joseph W. Haus, Domenico de Ceglia, Maria Antonietta Vincenti, and Michael Scalora, "Nonlinear quantum tunneling effects in nanoplasmonic environments: two-photon absorption and harmonic generation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 31, A13-A19 (2014)

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