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  1. Abstract

    Nanophotonics research has focused recently on the ability of nonlinear optical processes to mediate and transform optical signals in a myriad of novel devices, including optical modulators, transducers, color filters, photodetectors, photon sources, and ultrafast optical switches. The inherent weakness of optical nonlinearities at smaller scales has, however, hindered the realization of efficient miniaturized devices, and strategies for enhancing both device efficiencies and synthesis throughput via nanoengineering remain limited. Here, we demonstrate a novel mechanism by which second harmonic generation, a prototypical nonlinear optical phenomenon, from individual lithium niobate particles can be significantly enhanced through nonradiative coupling to the localized surface plasmon resonances of embedded gold nanoparticles. A joint experimental and theoretical investigation of single mesoporous lithium niobate particles coated with a dispersed layer of ~10 nm diameter gold nanoparticles shows that a ~32-fold enhancement of second harmonic generation can be achieved without introducing finely tailored radiative nanoantennas to mediate photon transfer to or from the nonlinear material. This work highlights the limitations of current strategies for enhancing nonlinear optical phenomena and proposes a route through which a new class of subwavelength nonlinear optical platforms can be designed to maximize nonlinear efficiencies through near-field energy exchange.

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  2. Quantum dot (QD) solids are promising optoelectronic materials; further advancing their device functionality requires understanding their energy transport mechanisms. The commonly invoked near-field Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) theory often underestimates the exciton hopping rate in QD solids, yet no consensus exists on the underlying cause. In response, we use time-resolved ultrafast stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, an ultrafast transformation of STED to spatiotemporally resolve exciton diffusion in tellurium-doped cadmium selenide–core/cadmium sulfide–shell QD superlattices. We measure the concomitant time-resolved exciton energy decay due to excitons sampling a heterogeneous energetic landscape within the superlattice. The heterogeneity is quantified by single-particle emission spectroscopy. This powerful multimodal set of observables provides sufficient constraints on a kinetic Monte Carlo simulation of exciton transport to elucidate a composite transport mechanism that includes both near-field FRET and previously neglected far-field emission/reabsorption contributions. Uncovering this mechanism offers a much-needed unified framework in which to characterize transport in QD solids and additional principles for device design.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 20, 2024
  3. null (Ed.)