Light Modulator: Graphene-Based Metasurface

A research team has reported a technique for creating metamolecules with two independently controllable subwavelength meta-atoms. Thanks to this two-parametric control, the metamolecule can be completely controlled regarding amplitude and the phase of the light – light modulator.

The group proposed a graphene-based active metasurface that could independently regulate the amplitude and phase of mid-infrared light. By resolving the long-standing issue of the independent control of light amplitude and phase, the study offers fresh insight into modulating the mid-infrared wavefront with high resolution.

Future optical devices like holography, high-resolution imaging, and optical communication networks require the development of light modulator technology. A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) and liquid crystals have been used to control light. However, due to severely constrained driving speeds and unit pixel sizes that exceed the diffraction limit, neither technique can be integrated into photonic systems.

One of the top contenders for the upcoming iteration of light modification technology is the metasurface platform. Metasurfaces can overcome the limitations of conventional optical systems because they possess optical properties that natural materials lack, such as the ability to create high-resolution images beyond the diffraction limit. The active metasurface, particularly, is regarded as a technology with a wide range of uses because of its electrically tunable optical properties.

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