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Opt Express. 2009 Aug 3;17(16):14235-59.

Analytic coherent control of plasmon propagation in nanostructures.

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Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Universität Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.


We present general analytic solutions for optical coherent control of electromagnetic energy propagation in plasmonic nanostructures. Propagating modes are excited with tightly focused ultrashort laser pulses that are shaped in amplitude, phase, and polarization (ellipticity and orientation angle). We decouple the interplay between two main mechanisms which are essential for the control of local near-fields. First, the amplitudes and the phase difference of two laser pulse polarization components are used to guide linear flux to a desired spatial position. Second, temporal compression of the near-field at the target location is achieved using the remaining free laser pulse parameter to flatten the local spectral phase. The resulting enhancement of nonlinear signals from this intuitive analytic two-step process is compared to and confirmed by the results of an iterative adaptive learning loop in which an evolutionary algorithm performs a global optimization. Thus, we gain detailed insight into why a certain complex laser pulse shape leads to a particular control target. This analytic approach may also be useful in a number of other coherent control scenarios.

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