Abstract

We report the experimental observation of giant dispersive and absorptive optical nonlinearities in direct current magnetron sputtered as-grown and annealed $ {{\rm TiO}_2} $ thin films. The $ {{\rm TiO}_2} $ film was deposited in a mixture of argon and oxygen. The as-grown film and the film annealed below 250°C demonstrated amorphous behavior having particle size variation in the range of 15–20 nm, while the films annealed above temperature $ \ge 300^\circ{\rm C} $ exhibited crystalline structure with larger particle size (50–80 nm). The enhancement in optical nonlinearity in amorphous films can be attributed to small particle sizes, while in crystalline thin films, the enhancement in optical nonlinearity is attributed to phonon-assisted resonant transitions. The films are characterized by the x-ray diffraction technique, atomic force microscopy, UV–visible spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy for their structural properties, morphology, bandgap, and presence of phonon modes, respectively. The intensity-dependent nonlinear optical properties of the films are analyzed by using the Z-scan technique.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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