Light Modulator: Graphene-Based Metasurface

A team of researchers has described a method of designing metamolecules that incorporate two independently controllable subwavelength meta-atoms. This two-parametric control of the metamolecule secures the complete control of both amplitude and the phase of light – light modulator.

A Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) research team in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison theoretically suggested a graphene-based active metasurface capable of independent amplitude and phase control of mid-infrared light. The research provides new insight into modulating the mid-infrared wavefront with high resolution by solving the problem of the independent control of light amplitude and phase, which has remained a long-standing challenge.

Light modulator technology is essential for developing future optical devices such as holography, high-resolution imaging, and optical communication systems. Liquid crystals and a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) have previously been used to modulate light. However both methods suffer from significantly limited driving speeds and unit pixel sizes larger than the diffraction limit, which consequently prevent their integration into photonic systems.

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