Tuning the nonlinear optical absorption of reduced graphene oxide by chemical reduction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Hongfei Shi
  • Can Wang
  • Zhipei Sun

  • Yueliang Zhou
  • Kuijuan Jin
  • Simon A T Redfern
  • Guozhen Yang

Research units

  • Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter
  • University of Cambridge
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences


Reduced graphene oxides with varying degrees of reduction have been produced by hydrazine reduction of graphene oxide. The linear and nonlinear optical properties of both graphene oxide as well as the reduced graphene oxides have been measured by single beam Z-scan measurement in the picosecond region. The results reveal both saturable absorption and two-photon absorption, strongly dependent on the intensity of the pump pulse: saturable absorption occurs at lower pump pulse intensity (~1.5 GW/cm2 saturation intensity) whereas two-photon absorption dominates at higher intensities (≥5.7 GW/cm 2). Intriguingly, we find that the two-photon absorption coefficient (from 1.5 cm/GW to 4.5cm/GW) and the saturation intensity (from 1 GW/cm 2 to 2 GW/cm2) vary with chemical reduction, which is ascribed to the varying concentrations of sp2 domains and sp 2 clusters in the reduced graphene oxides. Our results not only provide an insight into the evolution of the nonlinear optical coefficient in reduced graphene oxide, but also suggest that chemical engineering techniques may usefully be applied to tune the nonlinear optical properties of various nanomaterials, including atomically thick graphene sheets.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19375-19385
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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