A new extraordinary application of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) thin-solid-film was experimentally explored in the field of ultrafast nonlinear photonics. Optical transmission was investigated in both linear and nonlinear regimes for two types of DNA thin-solid-films made from DNA in aqueous solution and DNA-cetyltrimethylammonium chloride (CTMA) in an organic solvent. Z-scan measurements revealed a high third-order nonlinearity with n2 exceeding 10-9 at a wavelength of 1570 nm, for a nonlinarity about five orders of magnitude larger than that of silica. We also demonstrated ultrafast saturable absorption (SA) with a modulation depth of 0.43%. DNA thin solid films were successfully deposited on a side-polished optical fiber, providing an efficient evanescent wave interaction. We built an organic-inorganic hybrid all-fiber ring laser using DNA film as an ultrafast SA and using Erbium-doped fiber as an efficient optical gain medium. Stable transform-limited femtosecond soliton pulses were generated with full width half maxima of 417 fs for DNA and 323 fs for DNA-CTMA thin-solid-film SAs. The average output power was 4.20 mW for DNA and 5.46 mW for DNA-CTMA. Detailed conditions for DNA solid film preparation, dispersion control in the laser cavity and subsequent characteristics of soliton pulses are discussed, to confirm unique nonlinear optical applications of DNA thin-solid-film.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Gwak and F. Rotermund acknowledge supports from NRF of Korea (NRF-2016R1A2A1A05005381, 2011-0017494).
© 2017 The Author(s).
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