The tunability of nonlinear optical (NLO) absorption in Bi3.15Nd0.85Ti3O12 (BNT) ferroelectric thin films was investigated through the open aperture Z-scan method with femtosecond laser pulses at the wavelength of 800 nm. NLO absorption responses of the BNT films were observed to be highly sensitive to the film thickness. As the film thickness increases from 106.8 to 139.7 nm, the NLO absorption changes from saturable absorption (SA) to reverse saturable absorption (RSA). When the film thickness further increases to 312.9 nm, the RSA effect is enhanced. A band-gap-related competition between the ground-state excitation and the two-photon absorption is responsible for the absorption switching behavior. Such a tunable NLO absorption can widen the photonic application of the BNT thin films.

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