Abstract

The inclusion of atomic inversion in Raman scattering can significantly alter field dynamics in plasmonic settings. Our calculations show that large local fields and femtosecond pulses combine to yield (i) population inversion within hot spots, (ii) gain saturation, and (iii) conversion efficiencies characterized by a switch-like transition to the stimulated regime that spans 12 orders of magnitude. While in Raman scattering atomic inversion is usually neglected, we demonstrate that in some circumstances full accounting of the dynamics of the Bloch vector is required.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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