Abstract

The redshift of the long wavelength plasmonic absorption band is essential to the use of gold nanorods (GNRs) for the implementation of the infrared broadband saturable absorbers (SAs). A common method to obtain the GNR-based SAs with a substantially broad absorption bandwidth from 1 to 2 μm is to use GNRs with a large aspect ratio. Here, a simple self-assembly technique is demonstrated, which enables us to obtain a significant redshift of the long wavelength plasmonic absorption peak of GNRs with a small aspect ratio, together with substantial spectral broadening of the absorption band. The proposed technique is based on an end-to-end self-assembly of the GNRs through hot air induced rapid drying of the GNRs in a deionized water solution, which makes the GNRs reassemble by attaching to one another by their ends. Using the proposed end-to-end self-assembly method for GNRs with an aspect ratio of 5.1, a single broadband SA that can operate from 1.5 to 1.9 μm was fabricated on a fiber ferrule based sandwich platform. The saturable absorption performance was tested by incorporating the fabricated GNR-based SA into two different optical fiber based ring cavities: One was based on an erbium-doped fiber and the other was a thulium–holmium codoped fiber. Our fabricated single SA readily produced stable Q-switched pulses from both the cavities.

© 2016 IEEE

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