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Improved Optical Limiting Performance Of Laser-ablation-generated Metal Nanoparticles Due To Silica-microsphere-induced Local Field Enhancement

Zheren Du, Lianwei Chen, Tsung-Sheng Kao, Mengxue Wu, Minghui Hong

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For practical application, optical limiting materials must exhibit a fast response and a low threshold in order to be used for the protection of the human eye and electro-optical sensors against intense light. Many nanomaterials have been found to exhibit optical limiting properties. Laser ablation offers the possibility of fabricating nanoparticles from a wide range of target materials. For practical use of these materials, their optical limiting performance, including optical limiting threshold and the ability to efficiently attenuate high intensity light, needs to be improved. In this paper, we fabricate nanoparticles of different metals by laser ablation in liquid. We study the optical nonlinear properties of the laser-generated nanoparticle dispersion. Silica microspheres are used to enhance the optical limiting performance of the nanoparticle dispersion. The change in the optical nonlinear properties of the laser-generated nanoparticle dispersion caused by silica microspheres is studied. It is found that the incident laser beam is locally focused by the microspheres, leading to an increased optical nonlinearity of the nanoparticle dispersion.