Nanfang Yu, Mikhail A. Kats, Patrice Genevet, Francesco Aieta, Romain Blanchard, Guillaume Aoust, Zeno Gaburro, and Federico Capasso. 2013. “Controlling Light Propagation with Interfacial Phase Discontinuities.” In ACTIVE PLASMONICS AND TUNEABLE PLASMONIC METAMATERIALS, edited by AV Zayats and SA Maier, Pp. 171-217. OSNEY MEAD, OXFORD OX2 0EL, ENGLAND: BLACKWELL SCIENCE PUBL.
Conventional optical components rely on the propagation effect to control the phase and polarization of light beams. One can instead exploit abrupt phase and polarization changes associated with scattered light from optical resonators to control light propagation. In this paper, we discuss the optical responses of anisotropic plasmonic antennas and a new class of planar optical components (''metasurfaces'') based on arrays of these antennas. To demonstrate the versatility of metasurfaces, we show the design and experimental realization of a number of flat optical components: 1) metasurfaces with a constant interfacial phase gradient that deflect light into arbitrary directions; 2) metasurfaces with anisotropic optical responses that create light beams of arbitrary polarization over a wide wavelength range; 3) planar lenses and axicons that generate spherical wavefronts and nondiffracting Bessel beams, respectively; and 4) metasurfaces with spiral phase distributions that create optical vortex beams of well-defined orbital angular momentum.
AlInAs/GaInAs superlattices (SLs) with barrier and well layers of various thicknesses were grown by organometallic vapor phase epitaxy to optimize growth of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). High-resolution x-ray diffraction data of nominally lattice-matched SLs show a systematic shift toward more compressively strained SLs as the barrier/well layer thicknesses are decreased below about 10 nm. This shift is attributed to In surface segregation in both AlInAs and GaInAs. This shift is compensated for in the growth of ultra-thin layers in QCL structures. QCLs with tapered gain regions and emitting at 9.6 mu m are demonstrated with peak power as high as 5.3 W from one facet at 20 degrees C. (C) 2012 Elsevier BY. All rights reserved.
A novel distributed feedback quantum cascade laser (DFB-QCL) modulated by traveling surface acoustic wave (SAW) is proposed and theoretically studied. The device is based on a highly piezoelectric Zinc Oxide (ZnO) thin film applied directly on top of the QCL to enhance the SAW modulation of the device. To increase the coupling efficiency between the optical lasing mode and the SAW-induced DFB grating, air-waveguide and surface plasmon waveguide structures with two-section active regions are proposed. Simulation results show that a moderate coupling coefficient of 2.5 cm-1 can be achieved for the structures, assuming high quality piezoelectric material and device fabrication can be achieved. The proposed scheme may provide a potentially alternative approach to achieve single-mode, tunable QCLs.
A measurement on the temporal response of a plasmonic antenna at the femtosecond time scale is reported. The antenna consists of a square array of nanometer-size gold rods. The far-field dispersion of light reflected from the plasmonic antenna is found to be less than that of a 1.2 mm thick glass slide. Assuming a simple oscillating dipole model this implies that the near-field of the antenna may be used as an electron switch that responds faster than 20 fs. Alternatively, ultrafast electron diffraction may be used to investigate the near-field dynamics of the plasmonic antenna.
Light can be coupled into propagating electromagnetic surface waves at a metal-dielectric interface known as surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). This process has traditionally faced challenges in the polarization sensitivity of the coupling efficiency and in controlling the directionality of the SPPs. We designed and demonstrated plasmonic couplers that overcome these limits using polarization-sensitive apertures in a gold film. Our devices enable polarization-controlled tunable directional coupling with polarization-invariant total conversion efficiency and preserve the incident polarization information. Both bidirectional and unidirectional launching of SPPs are demonstrated. The design is further applied to circular structures that create radially convergent and divergent SPPs, illustrating that this concept can be extended to a broad range of applications.
A study of optical aberrations for flat lenses based on phase discontinuities is reported. The wave aberration function and the analytical expression of the aberrations up to the 4th order are derived to describe the performance of both ideal and practical flat lenses. We find that aberration-free focusing is possible under axial illumination but off-axis aberrations appear when the excitation is not normal to the interface. An alternative design for an aplanatic metasurface on a curved substrate is proposed to focus light without coma and spherical aberrations. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America
We predict that the near-field radiative heat-transfer rate between a cylinder and a perforated surface depends nonmonotonically on their separation. This anomalous behavior, which arises due to evanescent-wave effects, is explained using a heuristic model based on the interaction of a dipole with a plate. We show that nonmonotonicity depends not only on geometry and temperature but also on material dispersion-for micron and submicron objects, nonmonotonicity is present in polar dielectrics but absent in metals with small skin depths. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.014301
We show that the surface plasmon polariton (SPP) radiation patterns of point-dipole emitters in the vicinity of a metal-dielectric interface are generally asymmetric with respect to the location of the emitter. In particular rotating dipoles, which emit elliptically polarized light, produce highly asymmetric SPP radiation fields that include unidirectional emission. Asymmetric SPP radiation patterns also result when a dipole oscillates tilted with respect to the plane of the interface and optical losses or gains are present in the materials. These effects can be used to directionally control SPP emission and absorption, as well as to study emission and scattering processes close to metal-dielectric interfaces. Possible implementations of asymmetrically emitting SPP sources are discussed.
Plasmonic antennas enable the conversion of light from free space into subwavelength volumes and vice versa, which facilitates the manipulation of light at the nanoscale. Dynamic control of the properties of antennas is desirable for many applications, including biochemical sensors, reconfigurable meta-surfaces and compact optoelectronic devices. The combination of metallic structures and graphene, which has gate-voltage dependent optical properties, is emerging as a possible platform for electrically controlled plasmonic devices. In this paper, we demonstrate in situ control of antennas using graphene as an electrically tunable load in the nanoscale antenna gap. In our experiments, we demonstrate electrical tuning of graphene-loaded antennas over a broad wavelength range of 650 nm (similar to 140 cm(-1), similar to 10% of the resonance frequency) in the mid infrared (MIR) region. We propose an equivalent circuit model to quantitatively analyze the tuning behavior of graphene-loaded antenna pairs and derive an analytical expression for the tuning range of resonant wavelength. In a separate experiment, we used doubly resonant antenna arrays to achieve MIR optical intensity modulation with maximum modulation depth of more than 30% and bandwidth of 600 nm (similar to 100 cm(-1), 8% of the resonance frequency). This study shows that combining graphene with metallic nanostructures provides a route to electrically tunable optical and optoelectronic devices.
Reflection is usually a detrimental phenomenon in many applications such as flat-panel-displays, solar cells, photodetectors, infrared sensors, and lenses. Thus far, to control and suppress the reflection from a substrate, numerous techniques including dielectric interference coatings, surface texturing, adiabatic index matching, and scattering from plasmonic nanoparticles have been investigated. A new technique is demonstrated to manage and suppress reflection from lossless and lossy substrates. It provides a wider flexibility in design versus previous methods. Reflection from a surface can be suppressed over a narrowband, wideband, or multiband frequency range. The antireflection can be dependent or independent of the incident wave polarization. Moreover, antireflection at a very wide incidence angle can be attained. The reflection from a substrate is controlled by a buried nanoantenna array, a structure composed of (1) a subwavelength metallic array and (2) a dielectric cover layer referred to as a superstrate. The material properties and thickness of the superstrate and nanoantennas' geometry and periodicity control the phase and intensity of the wave circulating inside the superstrate cavity. A minimum reflectance of 0.02% is achieved in various experiments in the mid-infrared from a silicon substrate. The design can be integrated in straightforward way in optical devices. The proposed structure is a versatile AR coating to optically impedance matches any substrate to free space in selected any narrow and broadband spectral response across the entire visible and infrared spectrum.
Robert Roeder, Marcel Wille, Sebastian Geburt, Jura Rensberg, Mengyao Zhang, Jia Grace Lu, Federico Capasso, Robert Buschinger, Ulf Peschel, and Carsten Ronning. 2013. “Continuous Wave Nanowire Lasing.” NANO LETTERS, 13, 8, Pp. 3602-3606.Abstract
Tin-doped cadmium sulfide nanowires reveal donor-acceptor pair transitions at low-temperature photoluminescence and furthermore exhibit ideal resonator morphology appropriate for lasing at continuous wave pumping. The continuous wave lasing mode is proven by the evolution of the emitted power and spectrum with increasing pump intensity. The high temperature stability up to 120 K at given pumping power is determined by the decreasing optical gain necessary for lasing in an electron-hole plasma.
Recently a new class of optical interference coatings was introduced which comprises ultra-thin, highly absorbing dielectric layers on metal substrates. We show that these lossy coatings can be augmented by an additional transparent subwavelength layer. We fabricated a sample comprising a gold substrate, an ultra-thin film of germanium with a thickness gradient, and several alumina films. The experimental reflectivity spectra showed that the additional alumina layer increases the color range that can be obtained, in agreement with calculations. More generally, this transparent layer can be used to enhance optical absorption, protect against erosion, or as a transparent electrode for optoelectronic devices. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
Pietro Malara, Romain Blanchard, Tobias S. Mansuripur, Aleksander K. Wojcik, Alexey Belyanin, Kazuue Fujita, Tadataka Edamura, Shinichi Furuta, Masamichi Yamanishi, Paolo de Natale, and Federico Capasso. 2013. “External ring-cavity quantum cascade lasers.” APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 102, 14.Abstract
An external ring-cavity quantum cascade laser (QCL) is demonstrated. Gain competition between the clockwise and anticlockwise ring-cavity modes results in a transition from bidirectional to directional emission as current is increased. In the directional regime, spatial hole burning (SHB) is suppressed, and the spectrum evolves to a single longitudinal mode, in contrast with the multimode spectrum of a comparable Fabry-Perot QCL. The absence of SHB and the long path-length of the external cavity make this laser an excellent candidate for active mode-locking and high-sensitivity spectroscopic applications in the mid-infrared. A proof-of-principle intracavity absorption spectroscopic detection of water vapor is demonstrated. (C) 2013 American Institute of Physics.
We propose a robust and reliable method of active mode locking of mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers and develop its theoretical description. Its key element is the use of an external ring cavity, which circumvents fundamental issues undermining the stability of mode locking in quantum cascade lasers. We show that active mode locking can give rise to the generation of picosecond pulses and phase-locked frequency combs containing thousands of the ring cavity modes. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
By analogy to the three dimensional optical bottle beam, we introduce the plasmonic bottle beam: a two dimensional surface wave which features a lattice of plasmonic bottles, i.e. alternating regions of bright focii surrounded by low intensities. The two-dimensional bottle beam is created by the interference of a non-diffracting beam, a cosine-Gaussian beam, and a plane wave, thus giving rise to a non-diffracting complex intensity distribution. By controlling the propagation constant of the cosine-Gauss beam, the size and number of plasmonic bottles can be engineered. The two dimensional lattice of hot spots formed by this new plasmonic wave could have applications in plasmonic trapping. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America
We predict that a low-permittivity oblate body (disk-shaped object) above a thin metal substrate (plate with a hole) immersed in a fluid of intermediate permittivity will experience a metastable equilibrium (restoring force) near the center of the hole. Stability is the result of a geometry-induced transition in the sign of the force, from repulsive to attractive, that occurs as the disk approaches the hole-in planar or nearly planar geometries, the same material combination yields a repulsive force at all separations, in accordance with the Dzyaloshinskii-Lifshitz-Pitaevskii condition of fluid-induced repulsion between planar bodies. We explore the stability of the system with respect to rotations and lateral translations of the disks and demonstrate interesting transitions (bifurcations) in the rotational stability of the disks as a function of their size. Finally, we consider the reciprocal situation in which the disk-plate materials are interchanged and find that in this case the system also exhibits metastability. The forces in the system are sufficiently large to be observed in experiments and should enable measurements based on the diffusion dynamics of the suspended bodies.
An index-guided tapered quantum cascade laser emitting near 9.5 mu m with sloped sidewalls and no anti-reflection coating is presented, and the performance for devices with taper half-angles of 1 degrees and 2 degrees is investigated. The 1 degrees device delivers up to 2.5 W of peak optical power at room temperature with beam quality-factor M-2 = 2.08, while the two-degree device outputs 3.8 W with M-2 = 2.25 for a maximum brightness of 1.87 MW cm(-2) sr(-1). (C) 2013 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4791557]
We report on multi-wavelength arrays of master-oscillator power-amplifier quantum cascade lasers operating at wavelengths between 9.2 and 9.8 mu m. All elements of the high-performance array feature longitudinal (spectral) as well as transverse single-mode emission at peak powers between 2.7 and 10 W at room temperature. The performance of two arrays that are based on different seed-section designs is thoroughly studied and compared. High output power and excellent beam quality render the arrays highly suitable for stand-off spectroscopy applications. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America
We demonstrate a tapered quantum cascade laser with sloped side-walls emitting a high-brightness single-lobe beam at 8.1 mu m with a peak power of 4W at room temperature. Using a combination of high and low reflectivity facet coatings, the power output is increased to 6.2W while a high beam quality is maintained. Plasmonic collimators are fabricated on the facet of the uncoated lasers without compromising power output, demonstrating the viability of this beam-shaping strategy for high-power lasers. The collimated lasers emit a beam with a more circular cross-section, which is more amenable to high-efficiency coupling into mid-infrared optical fibers. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.