Nanophotonics and metamaterials have revolutionised the way we think the optical space (ε,μ), enabling us to engineer the refractive index almost at will, to confine light to the smallest of volumes, as well as to manipulate optical signals with extremely small footprints and energy requirements. Significant efforts are now devoted to finding suitable materials and strategies for the dynamic control of the optical properties. Transparent conductive oxides exhibit large ultra-fast nonlinearities under both interband and intraband excitations. Here we show that combining these two effects in aluminum-doped zinc oxide via a two-colour laser field discloses new material functionalities. Owing to the independence of the two nonlinearities the ultrafast temporal dynamics of the material permittivity can be designed acting on the amplitude and delay of the two fields. We exemplify the potential applications of this novel degree of freedom by dynamically addressing the modulation bandwidth and optical spectral tuning of a probe optical pulse.
- Nonlinear optics
- Novel materials