Nonlinear optical effects in colloidal carbon nanohorns - a new optical limiting material
Many carbon based nanomaterials exhibit nonlinear optical response over a large wavelength range when irradiated with intense laser light what makes them promising candidates for optical limiting purposes. Besides nonlinear absorption some of these well studied nanostructures like carbon nanotubes or carbon black owe their prominent limiting efficiency particularly to induced nonlinear scattering. In this paper, our investigations on carbon nanohorns are presented-a new and very promising nonlinear optical material. It offers excellent properties like a low optical limiting threshold and a high nonlinear attenuation when tested with nanosecond laser pulses at wavelengths of 532 nm or 1064 nm. At moderate irradiation levels near the nonlinear threshold our measurements performed on colloidal carbon nanohorns reveal broadband nonlinear absorption as the dominant optical limiting effect. Towards higher irradiation levels significant nonlinear scattering takes place as a secondary process. In contrast to 532 nm, at 1064 nm nonlinear scattering is less strong even at high irradiation levels and the nonlinear response is dominated by nonlinear absorption.