Abstract

A nonlinear decoupling approximation (NDA) is described for calculating the nonlinear-optical response of composite materials. The NDA is used in conjunction with the effective-medium approximation for the linear response to calculate the effective third-order susceptibility, χe, of model metal–insulator and semiconductor–insulator composites as a function of frequency and composition. It is found that the ratio χe can be strongly enhanced relative to χ1, the corresponding third-order nonlinear susceptibility of a pure constituent in bulk. The enhancement is found to be sensitive to composite topology as well as to composition. The nonlinear susceptibility of randomly oriented nonlinear ellipsoidal particles in a linear host is calculated in the dilute limit. The susceptibilities of the model composites are also shown to be strongly influenced by particle shape.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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