Affiliated with the
Communication & Space
Sciences Laboratory

Nano-scale Electromagnetics

Reconfigurable Micro- and Nano-scale Optical Devices

Hybrid metamaterials for electrically triggered multifunctional control

Field-Switchable Broadband Polarizer Based on Reconfigurable Nanowire Assemblies

..: References :..

[1]    L. Liu, L. Kang, T. S. Mayer, and D. H. Werner, "Hybrid Metamaterials for Electrically Triggered Multifunctional Control" Nature Communications, Vol. 7, pp. 13236(1)-(8), October 2016.

ABSTRACT: Despite the exotic material properties that have been demonstrated to date, practical examples of versatile metamaterials remain exceedingly rare. The concept of metadevices has been proposed in the context of hybrid metamaterial composites: systems in which active materials are introduced to advance tunability, switchability and nonlinearity. In contrast to the successful hybridizations seen at lower frequencies, there has been limited exploration into plasmonic and photonic nanostructures due to the lack of available optical materials with non-trivial activity, together with difficulties in regulating responses to external forces in an integrated manner. Here, by presenting a series of proof-of-concept studies on electrically triggered functionalities, we demonstrate a vanadium dioxide integrated photonic metamaterial as a transformative platform for multifunctional control. The proposed hybrid metamaterial integrated with transition materials represents a major step forward by providing a universal approach to creating self-sufficient and highly versatile nanophotonic systems.
Link to the academic paper

[2]    S. J. Boehm, L. Kang, D. H. Werner, and C. D. Keating, "Field-Switchable Broadband Polarizer Based on Reconfigurable Nanowire Assemblies," Advanced Functional Materials, 1604703(1)-(8), December 2016.

ABSTRACT: Reconfigurability is one of the most critical properties of nanophotonic systems and, consequently, methods for enabling a significant degree of functionality are highly sought after. However, dynamically responsive control in top-down fabricated photonic structures often requires extreme conditions and yields moderate modulation capability. In sharp contrast to top-down methods, directed self-assembly of micro- and nanoparticles offers a distinct avenue for reconfigurable photonics. In the present work, gold nanowire lattices are formed via electric field directed assembly in order to take advantage of their collective optical properties. The lattices are reconfigured on-demand between two different functional states, in the form of broadband polarizers. By selectively switching the electric field between two orthogonal electrode pairs, a maximum transmission contrast of approximately 50% is observed in the near-infrared regime. Moreover, the reconfigurable transmission spectra, which are highly dependent on the nanowire size and electric field conditions, are reversible. The demonstrated proof-of-concept nanowire lattice polarizer provides potential for electrically reconfigurable photonic devices such as ultra-compact polarization components, electro-optic switches, and on-chip modulators.
Link to the academic paper