Metasurface modulators reach gigahertz speeds

June 8, 2022
Electro-optical modulator

Electro-optic modulators change the intensity of light in response to electric signals and have attracted much attention recently as they enable active photonics. Reaching gigahertz speeds is an important milestone that makes applications in remote sensing and communications accessible. Most demonstrations target either on-chip or fiber applications. Instead, modulators that operate on free-space light have long been very challenging to realize. Here, we show that a thin film metasurface from sub-wavelength Mie resonators enables highly efficient and ultra-compact modulation of light up to gigahertz speeds. This opens up a new frontier where flat optics benefits from microwave technologies.

This research is published in Nature Communications and the Harvard SEAS press release is here.