Spatial light modulators (SLM) provide tailored light fields for many applications. Here, we show that an SLM device can be realized from a structure as simple as a single organic electro-optic material deposited on top of interlaced gold electrodes. When we apply an electric signal across these electrodes, the refractive index of the electro-optical film changes. By nanoscale engineering of the nonlinear properties of the material and electrodes, we demonstrate modulation of the intensity of light at speeds up to 50 MHz, with tiny microwatt-level switching electrical power consumption. This technology may form the basis of ultra-high frequency adaptive optics, remote sensing, and imaging devices.
October 14, 2021