Third-order optical nonlinearities of Nb4C3 MXene and its application as an ultra-broadband mode-locker

Kyungtaek Lee, Suh Young Kwon, Jaehak Choi, Jeehwan Kim, Taeho Woo, Janghyun Ryu, Junha Jung, Ju Han Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


MXenes have been one of the most extensively investigated nonlinear optical materials at short-wave infrared (SWIR) wavelengths. Herein, we systemically investigated the electronic and optical characteristics of Nb4C3 MXene. First, the electronic and linear optical properties of Nb4C3 MXene were theoretically estimated using density functional theory calculation, thereby revealing the metallic property of Nb4C3 MXene. Through Z-scan measurements, we observed large saturable absorption of Nb4C3 MXene at 1560 and 1910 nm wavelengths. Self-focusing and self-defocusing properties were also observed at 1560 and 1910 nm wavelengths, respectively. The effective nonlinear absorption coefficient and nonlinear refractive index of Nb4C3 MXene were estimated as −(2.27 ± 0.12) × 103 cm GW−1 and (1.3 ± 0.04) × 10−2 cm2 GW−1 at 1560 nm, and −(2.73 ± 0.08) × 104 cm GW−1 and −(0.80 ± 0.01) × 10−1 cm2 GW−1 at 1910 nm. Based on the large and broadband optical nonlinearities, a single broadband saturable absorber (SA) was fabricated to generate optical pulses at SWIR wavelengths. Stable mode-locked pulses 1.66 ps at 1559.8 nm and 1.62 ps pulse duration at 1930.3 nm were generated with a single Nb4C3 MXene-based SA when incorporated in an erbium-doped fiber ring laser cavity and a thulium holmium-doped fiber cavity, respectively. This work indicates that Nb4C3 MXene can be a high-performance material platform for broadband optical devices at SWIR or broader wavelengths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-902
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
Issue number3
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2023


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