Near-field-assisted localization: effect of size and filling factor of randomly distributed zinc oxide nanoneedles on multiple scattering and localization of light


We investigate the influence of the diameter and the filling factor of randomly arranged ZnO nanoneedles on the multiple scattering and localization of light in disordered dielectrics. Coherent, ultra-broadband second-harmonic (SH) microscopy is used to probe the spatial localization of light in representative nm-sized ZnO arrays of needles. We observe strong fluctuations of the SH intensity inside different ZnO needle geometries. Comparison of the SH intensity distributions with predictions based on a one-parameter scaling model indicate that SH fluctuations can be taken as a quantitative measure for the degree of localization. Interestingly, the strongest localization signatures are found for densely packed arrays of thin needles with diameters in the range of only 30 nm range, despite the small scattering cross section of these needles. FDTD simulations indicate that in this case coupling of electric near-fields between neighbouring needles governs the localization.

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Financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SPP1391, SPP1839 and DFG-NSF Materials World Network), the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) within the DFG-JST strategic programme “Nanoelectronics”, by the European Union (project “CRONOS”, Grant number 280879-2) the Korea Foundation for International Cooperation of Science and Technology (Global Research Laboratory project, K20815000003) and the German–Israeli Foundation (Grant no. 1256) is gratefully acknowledged. M.S. wishes to thank the BMBF for a personal research grant “Photonic transistors” in the NanoMatFutur program. J.S. and H.K acknowledge support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (KL345/23-2) and the Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics (KSOP).

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Correspondence to Martin Silies.

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This article is part of the topical collection “Ultrafast Nanooptics” guest edited by Martin Aeschlimann and Walter Pfeiffer.

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Silies, M., Mascheck, M., Leipold, D. et al. Near-field-assisted localization: effect of size and filling factor of randomly distributed zinc oxide nanoneedles on multiple scattering and localization of light. Appl. Phys. B 122, 181 (2016).

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  • Filling Factor
  • Random Laser
  • Thin Needle
  • Light Localization
  • Needle Structure