Highly Porous Silica Nanoaerogels for Ultrafast Nonlinear Optical Applications
Highly porous silica nanoaerogels with low apparent density of ~0.1 g/cm3 and ~0.07 g/cm3 were synthesized through two-step sol-gel processing and low temperature supercritical fluid drying. The nonlinear refraction (γ) of silica nanoaerogels was estimated to be ~ -3.4 x 10-16 m2/W for ~0.1 g/cm3 and ~0.07 g/cm3 apparent densities with a signal-beam femtosecond z-scan spectroscopy. The third-order nonlinear refraction coefficient of nanostructure silica nanoaerogels was almost four orders larger than that of bulk silica materials. The large nonlinearrefraction with high nonlinear figure of merit (γ/βλ, β~2×10-10 m/W for 0.07 g/cm3 apparent density, β~6×10-10 m/W for 0.1 g/cm3 apparent density, λ~0.775 µm) is an ideal optical property for nonlinear applications of homeland security, battlefield enhancement, and industrial uses.
Hai-Doo Kim, Hua-Tay Lin and Michael J. Hoffmann
J. T. Seo et al., "Highly Porous Silica Nanoaerogels for Ultrafast Nonlinear Optical Applications", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 287, pp. 352-357, 2005