Surface plasmon resonances confine electromagnetic fields to the nanoscale, producing high field strengths suitable for exploiting nonlinear optical properties. We examine the prospect of detecting and utilizing one such property in plasmonic metals: the imaginary part of the cubic susceptibility, which corresponds to two plasmons decaying together to produce high energy carriers. Here we present ab initio predictions of the rates and carrier distributions generated by direct interband and phonon-assisted intraband transitions in one and two-plasmon decay. We propose detection of the higher energy carriers generated from two-plasmon decays that are inaccessible in one-plasmon decay as a viable signature of these processes in ultrafast experiments.

Last updated on 07/13/2018