Gigahertz Acoustic Vibrations of Elastically Anisotropic Indium-Tin-Oxide Nanorod Arrays

Peijun Guo, Richard D. Schaller*, Leonidas E. Ocola, John B. Ketterson, Robert P.H. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Active control of light is important for photonic integrated circuits, optical switches, and telecommunications. Coupling light with acoustic vibrations in nanoscale optical resonators offers optical modulation capabilities with high bandwidth and small footprint. Instead of using noble metals, here we introduce indium-tin-oxide nanorod arrays (ITO-NRAs) as the operating media and demonstrate optical modulation covering the visible spectral range (from 360 to 700 nm) with ∼20 GHz bandwidth through the excitation of coherent acoustic vibrations in ITO-NRAs. This broadband modulation results from the collective optical diffraction by the dielectric ITO-NRAs, and a high differential transmission modulation up to 10% is achieved through efficient near-infrared, on-plasmon-resonance pumping. By combining the frequency signatures of the vibrational modes with finite-element simulations, we further determine the anisotropic elastic constants for single-crystalline ITO, which are not known for the bulk phase. This technique to determine elastic constants using coherent acoustic vibrations of uniform nanostructures can be generalized to the study of other inorganic materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5639-5646
Number of pages8
JournalNano letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 14 2016


  • Indium-tin-oxide
  • acoustic phonon
  • elasticity
  • nanorod
  • single crystalline
  • ultrafast spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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