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Nanomechanical control of metamaterial optical properties

Nanomechanical control of metamaterial optical properties
Nanomechanical control of metamaterial optical properties
Dynamic control over metamaterial optical properties is the basis for active metamaterials devices from optical switches and modulators to tunable spectral filters and programmable transformation optics devices. Here we demonstrate that reconfigurable photonic metamaterials provide a flexible platform for fast dynamic control of metamaterial optical properties. The properties of virtually any metamaterial structure strongly depend on the spatial arrangement of its components. By manufacturing plasmonic metamaterials on a grid of elastic dielectric strings of nanoscale thickness, we are able to dynamically rearrange plasmonic building blocks of sub-micron size across the entire metamaterial array. We demonstrate that this approach allows tuning, modulation and switching of photonic metamaterials via (i) applied electric voltages of a few volts, (ii) currents of a few milliamperes and (iii) magnetic fields of about 100 millitesla. Electrostatic forces become large across nanoscale gaps while elastic restoring forces are small in nanoscale structures. Exploiting this, we electromechanically modulate the optical properties of reconfigurable photonic metamaterials at a rate of up to 20 megahertz at microwatts power consumption. We also achieve electro-optic switching with a contrast of up to 250% and a switching energy of only about 100 femtojoules. Resistive heating of bimaterial structures leads to their deformation due to differential thermal expansion. Additionally, electrical currents in metamaterial structures placed in a magnetic field will be subject to the Lorentz force. Exploitation of these phenomena allows us to electromechanically modulate the optical properties of photonic metamaterials with a contrast of up to 60%.
Plum, E.
50761a26-2982-40df-9153-7aecc4226eb5
Ou, J-Y.
3fb703e3-b222-46d2-b4ee-75f296d9d64d
Valente, J.
b1d50ead-5c3d-4416-ad05-3beb1b373146
Zhang, J.
7ce15288-2016-4b9c-8244-7aed073363ca
Zheludev, N.I.
32fb6af7-97e4-4d11-bca6-805745e40cc6
Plum, E.
50761a26-2982-40df-9153-7aecc4226eb5
Ou, J-Y.
3fb703e3-b222-46d2-b4ee-75f296d9d64d
Valente, J.
b1d50ead-5c3d-4416-ad05-3beb1b373146
Zhang, J.
7ce15288-2016-4b9c-8244-7aed073363ca
Zheludev, N.I.
32fb6af7-97e4-4d11-bca6-805745e40cc6

Plum, E., Ou, J-Y., Valente, J., Zhang, J. and Zheludev, N.I. (2013) Nanomechanical control of metamaterial optical properties. IPS Meeting 2013, Singapore. 04 - 06 Mar 2013.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

Dynamic control over metamaterial optical properties is the basis for active metamaterials devices from optical switches and modulators to tunable spectral filters and programmable transformation optics devices. Here we demonstrate that reconfigurable photonic metamaterials provide a flexible platform for fast dynamic control of metamaterial optical properties. The properties of virtually any metamaterial structure strongly depend on the spatial arrangement of its components. By manufacturing plasmonic metamaterials on a grid of elastic dielectric strings of nanoscale thickness, we are able to dynamically rearrange plasmonic building blocks of sub-micron size across the entire metamaterial array. We demonstrate that this approach allows tuning, modulation and switching of photonic metamaterials via (i) applied electric voltages of a few volts, (ii) currents of a few milliamperes and (iii) magnetic fields of about 100 millitesla. Electrostatic forces become large across nanoscale gaps while elastic restoring forces are small in nanoscale structures. Exploiting this, we electromechanically modulate the optical properties of reconfigurable photonic metamaterials at a rate of up to 20 megahertz at microwatts power consumption. We also achieve electro-optic switching with a contrast of up to 250% and a switching energy of only about 100 femtojoules. Resistive heating of bimaterial structures leads to their deformation due to differential thermal expansion. Additionally, electrical currents in metamaterial structures placed in a magnetic field will be subject to the Lorentz force. Exploitation of these phenomena allows us to electromechanically modulate the optical properties of photonic metamaterials with a contrast of up to 60%.

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More information

Published date: 2013
Venue - Dates: IPS Meeting 2013, Singapore, 2013-03-04 - 2013-03-06
Organisations: Optoelectronics Research Centre

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 375959
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/375959
PURE UUID: 8bda2f8a-636a-4dc7-b850-8422d31c476f
ORCID for E. Plum: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1552-1840
ORCID for J-Y. Ou: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8028-6130
ORCID for N.I. Zheludev: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1013-6636

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Apr 2015 13:52
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:22

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Contributors

Author: E. Plum ORCID iD
Author: J-Y. Ou ORCID iD
Author: J. Valente
Author: J. Zhang
Author: N.I. Zheludev ORCID iD

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