Nonlinear Optical Materials: Principles and Applications

This volume explores non-linear optical materials, which play a pivotal role in the future evolution of non-linear optics in general and its impact on technology and industrial applications in particular. The progress in non-linear optics has been tremendous since the first demonstration of an all-optical non-linear effect in the early 1960s but, until recently, the main visible emphasis was on the physical aspects of the non-linear radiation matter interaction. In the last decade, however, this effort has also brought its fruits in applied aspects of non-linear optics. This can be essentially traced to the improvement of the performances of the non-linear optical materials. Our understanding of the non-linear polarization mechanisms and their relation to the structural characteristics of the materials has been considerably improved and, in addition, the new development of techniques for the fabrication and growth of artificial materials has dramatically contributed to this evolution. The goal is to find and develop materials presenting large non-linearities and satisfying, at the same time, all the technological requirements for applications, such as wide transparency range, fast response, high damage threshold, but also processability, adaptability and interfacing with other materials.