Graphene possesses remarkable electronic, optical, and mechanical properties that have taken the research of two-dimensional relativistic condensed matter systems to prolific levels. However, the understanding of how its nonlinear optical properties are affected by relativisticlike effects has been broadly uncharted. It has been recently shown that highly nontrivial currents can be generated in free-standing samples, notably leading to the generation of even harmonics. Since graphene monolayers are centrosymmetric media, for which such harmonic generation at normal incidence is deemed inaccessible, this light-driven phenomenon is both startling and promising. More realistically, graphene samples are often deposited on a dielectric substrate, leading to additional intricate interactions. Here, we present a treatment to study this instance by gapping the spectrum and we show this leads to the appearance of a Berry phase in the carrier dynamics. We analyze the role of such a phase in the generated nonlinear current and conclude that it suppresses odd-harmonic generation. The pump energy can be tuned to the energy gap to yield interference among odd harmonics mediated by interband transitions, allowing even harmonics to be generated. Our results and general methodology pave the way for understanding the role of gap opening in the nonlinear optics of two-dimensional lattices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics