Hyperpolarizability of plasmonic meta-atoms in metasurfaces

M. Saad Bin-Alam, Joshua Baxter, Kashif M. Awan, Antti Kiviniemi, Yaryna Mamchur, Antonio Cala Lesina, Kosmas L. Tsakmakidis, Mikko J. Huttunen, Lora Ramunno, Ksenia Dolgaleva

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Plasmonic metasurfaces are promising as enablers of nanoscale nonlinear optics and flat nonlinear optical components. Nonlinear optical responses of such metasurfaces are determined by the nonlinear optical properties of individual plasmonic meta-atoms. Unfortunately, no simple methods exist to determine the nonlinear optical properties (hyperpolarizabilities) of the meta-atoms hindering the design of nonlinear metasurfaces. Here, we develop the equivalent RLC circuit (resistor, inductor, capacitor) model of such meta-atoms to estimate their second-order nonlinear optical properties, that is, the first-order hyperpolarizability in the optical spectral range. In parallel, we extract from second-harmonic generation experiments the first-order hyperpolarizabilities of individual meta-atoms consisting of asymmetrically shaped (elongated) plasmonic nanoprisms, verified with detailed calculations using both nonlinear hydrodynamic-FDTD and nonlinear scattering theory. All three approaches, analytical, experimental, and computational, yield results that agree very well. Our empirical RLC model can thus be used as a simple tool to enable an efficient design of nonlinear plasmonic metasurfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51–59
Number of pages9
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Anharmonic RLC oscillator
  • Hyperpolarizability
  • Meta-atoms
  • Nonlinear Optics
  • Plasmonics

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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