A form of optical modulation at low pulse rates is reported in the case of surface plasmons excited by 1.55-µm photons in a thin gold foil. Several visible-photon energies are shown to be pulsed by the action of the infrared pulses, the effect being maximized when each visible beam also excites surface plasmons. The infrared surface plasmons are implicated as the primary cause of thermally induced changes in the foil. The thermal effects dissipate in sufficiently small times so that operation up to the kilohertz range in pulse repetition frequency is obtained. Unlike direct photothermal phenomena, no phase change is necessary for the effect to be observed.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
A. Passian, A. L. Lereu, E. T. Arakawa, A. Wig, T. Thundat, and T. L. Ferrell, "Modulation of multiple photon energies by use of surface plasmons," Opt. Lett. 30, 41-43 (2005)