The third-order nonlinear optical response of Au nanocrystals embedded in BaTiO<sub>3</sub> and ZrO<sub>2</sub> matrices was investigated through the off-resonance femtosecond optical Kerr effect. Compared with pristine films, the nonlinearity of composite films shows an enhancement that depends on the sizes of Au particles and the refractive index of the matrices. We performed a calculation based on Lorenz–Mie scattering theory to explain the experimental results. Additionally, the nonlinearity was optimized by determination of the values of the particle size and the refractive index of the matrix.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Guohong Ma, Wanxin Sun, Sing-Hai Tang, Hanzhuang Zhang, Zexiang Shen, and Shixiong Qian, "Size and dielectric dependence of the third-order nonlinear optical response of Au nanocrystals embedded in matrices," Opt. Lett. 27, 1043-1045 (2002)