In this work we use nonlinear optical properties of Ga nanoparticles monolayers of different average sizes embedded in dielectric matrices to investigate the liquid-solid phase transitions in these materials. Ga nanoparticles, formed by exploiting the partial wetting of liquid Ga over a SiOx surface are irradiated with fs laser pulses from a Ti:sapphire source. The resulting Second Harmonic (SH) generated in the reflection and transmission directions is measured along the phase transitions by cooling the sample from 320 K down to liquid nitrogen temperature. Hysteresis cycles are observed in the nonlinear transmission, which exhibit a strong amplification from the solid to liquid values as compared to the linear optical results. A simple model for SH generation, based on Mie scattering calculations which includes the effect of surface plasmon resonance provides a fair key for the interpretation of the observed effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics