Quantum-enhanced tunable second-order optical nonlinearity in bilayer graphene

Sanfeng Wu, Li Mao, Aaron M. Jones, Wang Yao, Chuanwei Zhang, Xiaodong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Second order optical nonlinear processes involve the coherent mixing of two electromagnetic waves to generate a new optical frequency, which plays a central role in a variety of applications, such as ultrafast laser systems, rectifiers, modulators, and optical imaging. However, progress is limited in the mid-infrared (MIR) region due to the lack of suitable nonlinear materials. It is desirable to develop a robust system with a strong, electrically tunable second order optical nonlinearity. Here, we demonstrate theoretically that AB-stacked bilayer graphene (BLG) can exhibit a giant and tunable second order nonlinear susceptibility (2) once an in-plane electric field is applied. (2) can be electrically tuned from 0 to ∼10 5 pm/V, 3 orders of magnitude larger than the widely used nonlinear crystal AgGaSe 2. We show that the unusually large (2) arise from two different quantum enhanced two-photon processes thanks to the unique electronic spectrum of BLG. The tunable electronic bandgap of BLG adds additional tunability on the resonance of (2), which corresponds to a tunable wavelength ranging from ∼2.6 to ∼3.1 μm for the up-converted photon. Combined with the high electron mobility and optical transparency of the atomically thin BLG, our scheme suggests a new regime of nonlinear photonics based on BLG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2032-2036
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 11 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Materials Science


  • Bilayer grapheme
  • double resonance enhancement
  • perturbation theory
  • polarization
  • second harmonic generation
  • tenability


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