The nonlinear optical response of a material is conventionally assumed to be very much smaller than its linear response. Here we report that the nonlinear contribution to the refractive index of a sample of indium-tin oxide can be much larger than the linear contribution when the optical wavelength is close to the material’s bulk plasma wavelength, where the material exhibits epsilon-near-zero behavior. In particular, we demonstrate that a change in refractive index as large as 0.7 can be obtained in an ultra-thin indium-tin oxide film using an optical intensity of 140 GW/cm2.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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