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Simon, Thomas; Melnikau, Dimitry; Sánchez-Iglesias, Ana; Grzelczak, Marek; Liz-Marzán, Luis M.; Rakovich, Yury; Feldmann, Jochen and Urban, Alexander S. (2016): Exploring the Optical Nonlinearities of Plasmon-Exciton Hybrid Resonances in Coupled Colloidal Nanostructures. In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 120, No. 22: pp. 12226-12233

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Strong coupling of plasmons and excitons can form hybrid states, the so-called "plexcitons". Although plasmons have a low quality factor, the exceptionally high coupling strength with molecular aggregates, in particular J-aggregates, allows the realization of strong interaction. Despite several studies in recent years showing the formation of plexcitonic states, their nature, especially at very short times, is still insufficiently investigated. In this article, we identify the nonlinear optical behavior of plexcitons formed on gold nanorods coated with J-aggregated cyanine molecules at short times by transient absorption spectroscopy and a simple Lorentz oscillator model. We control the spectral overlap of the two resonances and analyze the effect of detuning as well as the effect of off- and on resonance excitation on the hybrid states. We demonstrate that at ultrashort time scales plexcitons show tunable plasmonic and excitonic nonlinear performance according to the hybridization model. In a first approach, we discover a way to optically manipulate the quality factor and study the effects on the coupled hybrid states. As a second approach, we find that the coupling strength can also be influenced on an ultrashort time scale in the strong coupling regime when plexcitons are excited.

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