By irradiating spherical metal nanoparticles embedded in glass with several hundred ultrashort laser pulses at peak intensities of 0.2–1.5 TW∕cm2, dichroic microstructures can be written in these nanocomposite materials. The underlying mechanism is transformation of the nanoparticles to prolate shapes. Using a single wavelength, the maximum aspect ratio achievable with this process is limited by partial destruction of particles. Here we show that this limitation can be overcome by simultaneous irradiation with different wavelengths. In particular, adding a relatively weak intensity at 800 nm to the main irradiation at 532 nm increases the maximum aspect ratio of Ag nanoparticles and the resulting separation between polarized surface plasmon bands dramatically. These effects are explained by the efficiency of electric field enhancement in the vicinity of nanoparticles, which influences the directed photoionization needed for particle shape transformation.
© 2010 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article