Ultrafast acousto-plasmonic control and sensing in complex nanostructures

Kevin O'Brien, N. D. Lanzillotti-Kimura, Junsuk Rho, Haim Suchowski, Xiaobo Yin, Xiang Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coherent acoustic phonons modulate optical, electronic and mechanical properties at ultrahigh frequencies and can be exploited for applications such as ultratrace chemical detection, ultrafast lasers and transducers. Owing to their large absorption cross-sections and high sensitivities, nanoplasmonic resonators are used to generate coherent phonons up to terahertz frequencies. Generating, detecting and controlling such ultrahigh frequency phonons has been a topic of intense research. Here we report that by designing plasmonic nanostructures exhibiting multimodal phonon interference, we can detect the spatial properties of complex phonon modes below the optical wavelength through the interplay between plasmons and phonons. This allows detection of complex nanomechanical dynamics by polarization-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy. Moreover, we demonstrate that the multiple vibrational states in nanostructures can be tailored by manipulating the geometry and dynamically selected by acousto-plasmonic coherent control. This allows enhancement, detection and coherent generation of tunable strains using surface plasmons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4042
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


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