We demonstrate that highly tunable nanowire arrays with optimized diameters, volume fractions, and alignment form one of the strongest optical scattering materials to date. Using a new broad-band technique, we explore the scattering strength of the nanowires by varying systematically their diameter and alignment on the substrate. We identify strong Mie-type internal resonances of the nanowires which can be tuned over the entire visible spectrum. The tunability of nanowire materials opens up exciting new prospects for fundamental and applied research ranging from random lasers to solar cells, exploiting the extreme scattering strength, internal resonances, and preferential alignment of the nanowires. Although we have focused our investigation on gallium phosphide nanowires, the results can be universally applied to other types of group III-V, II-VI, or IV nanowires.

Nano Lett.

Muskens, O. L., Diedenhofen, S. L., Kaas, B. C., Algra, R., Bakkers, E., Gómez Rivas, J., & Lagendijk, A. (2009). Large photonic strength of highly tunable resonant nanowire materials. Nano Lett., 9, 930–934. doi:10.1021/nl802580r