Tuning of magnetic optical response

We propose a novel approach for efficient tuning of optical properties of a high refractive index subwavelength nanoparticle with a magnetic Mie-type resonance by means of femtosecond laser irradiation. This concept is based on ultrafast photoinjection of dense (>1020 cm–3) electron–hole plasma within such nanoparticle, drastically changing its transient dielectric permittivity. This allows manipulation by both electric and magnetic nanoparticle responses, resulting in dramatic changes of its scattering diagram and scattering cross section. We experimentally demonstrate 20% tuning of reflectance of a single silicon nanoparticle by femtosecond laser pulses with wavelength in the vicinity of the magnetic dipole resonance. Such a single-particle nanodevice enables designing of fast and ultracompact optical switchers and modulators.