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.
Optical coatings, which consist of one or more films of dielectric or metallic materials, are widely used in applications ranging from mirrors to eyeglasses and photography lenses(1,2). Many conventional dielectric coatings rely on Fabry-Perot-type interference, involving multiple optical passes through transparent layers with thicknesses of the order of the wavelength to achieve functionalities such as anti-reflection, high-reflection and dichroism. Highly absorbing dielectrics are typically not used because it is generally accepted that light propagation through such media destroys interference effects. We show that under appropriate conditions interference can instead persist in ultrathin, highly absorbing films of a few to tens of nanometres in thickness, and demonstrate a new type of optical coating comprising such a film on a metallic substrate, which selectively absorbs various frequency ranges of the incident light. These coatings have a low sensitivity to the angle of incidence and require minimal amounts of absorbing material that can be as thin as 5-20 nm for visible light. This technology has the potential for a variety of applications from ultrathin photodetectors and solar cells to optical filters, to labelling, and even the visual arts and jewellery.
We report a new type of holographic interface, which is able to manipulate the three fundamental properties of light (phase, amplitude, and polarization) over a broad wavelength range. The design strategy relies on replacing the large openings of conventional holograms by arrays of subwavelength apertures, oriented to locally select a particular state of polarization. The resulting optical element can therefore be viewed as the superposition of two independent structures with very different length scales, that is, a hologram with each of its apertures filled with nanoscale openings to only transmit a desired state of polarization: As an implementation, we fabricated a nanostructured holographic plate that can generate radially polarized optical beams from circularly polarized incident light, and we demonstrated that it can broad range of wavelengths. The ability of a single holographic interface to simultaneously shape the amplitude, operate over a phase, and polarization of light can find widespread applications in photonics.
We demonstrate actuation of a silicon photonic crystal membrane with a repulsive optical gradient force. The extent of the static actuation is extracted by examining the optical bistability as a combination of the optomechanical, thermo-optic, and photo-thermo-mechanical effects using coupled-mode theory. Device behavior is dominated by a repulsive optical force which results in displacements of approximate to 1 nm/mW. By employing an extended guided resonance which effectively eliminates multi-photon thermal and electronic nonlinearities, our silicon-based device provides a simple, non-intrusive solution to extending the actuation range of micro-electromechanical devices. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
We present here an optomechanical system fabricated with novel stress management techniques that allow us to suspend an ultrathin defect-free silicon photonic-crystal membrane above a Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) substrate with a gap that is tunable to below 200 nm. Our devices are able to generate strong attractive and repulsive optical forces over a large surface area with simple in-and out-coupling and feature the strongest repulsive optomechanical coupling in any geometry to date (g(OM)/2 pi approximate to -65 GHz/nm). The interplay between the optomechanical and photo-thermal-mechanical dynamics is explored, and the latter is used to achieve cooling and amplification of the mechanical mode, demonstrating that our platform is well-suited for potential applications in low-power mass, force, and refractive-index sensing as well as optomechanical accelerometry. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America
We investigate surface plasmon amplification in a silver nanoparticle coupled to an externally driven three-level gain medium and show that quantum coherence significantly enhances the generation of surface plasmons. Surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation is achieved in the absence of population inversion on the spasing transition, which reduces the pump requirements. The coherent drive allows us to control the dynamics and holds promise for quantum control of nanoplasmonic devices.
We demonstrate tapered quantum cascade lasers monolithically integrated with a distributed Bragg reflector acting as both a wavelength-selective back mirror and a transverse mode filter. Each of the 14 devices operates at a different wavelength between 9.2 and 9.7 mu m, where nine devices feature single-mode operation at peak powers between 0.3 and 1.6W at room temperature. High output power and excellent beam quality with peak brightness values up to 1.6 MW cm(-2) sr(-1) render these two-terminal devices highly suitable for stand-off spectroscopy applications. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
Using experiments and simulations, we investigate the clusters that form when colloidal spheres stick irreversibly to-or ``park'' on-smaller spheres. We use either oppositely charged particles or particles labeled with complementary DNA sequences, and we vary the ratio alpha of large to small sphere radii. Once bound, the large spheres cannot rearrange, and thus the clusters do not form dense or symmetric packings. Nevertheless, this stochastic aggregation process yields a remarkably narrow distribution of clusters with nearly 90% tetrahedra at alpha = 2.45. The high yield of tetrahedra, which reaches 100% in simulations at alpha = 2.41, arises not simply because of packing constraints, but also because of the existence of a long-time lower bound that we call the ``minimum parking'' number. We derive this lower bound from solutions to the classic mathematical problem of spherical covering, and we show that there is a critical size ratio alpha(c) = (1 + root 2) approximate to 2.41, close to the observed point of maximum yield, where the lower bound equals the upper bound set by packing constraints. The emergence of a critical value in a random aggregation process offers a robust method to assemble uniform clusters for a variety of applications, including metamaterials. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.148303
We demonstrate that the resonances of infrared plasmonic antennas can be tuned or switched on/off by taking advantage of the thermally driven insulator-to-metal phase transition in vanadium dioxide (VO2). Y-shaped antennas were fabricated on a 180 nm film of VO2 deposited on a sapphire substrate, and their resonances were shown to depend on the temperature of the VO2 film in proximity of its phase transition, in good agreement with full-wave simulations. We achieved tunability of the resonance wavelength of approximately 10% (> 1 mu m at lambda similar to 10 mu m). (C) 2013 Optical Society of America
Ultrasmooth, highly spherical monocrystalline gold particles were prepared by a cyclic process of slow growth followed by slow chemical etching, which selectively removes edges and vertices. The etching process effectively makes the surface tension isotropic, so that spheres are favored under quasi-static conditions. It is scalable up to particle sizes of 200 nm or more. The resulting spherical crystals display uniform scattering spectra and consistent optical coupling at small separations, even showing Fano-like resonances in small clusters. The high monodispersity of the particles we demonstrate should facilitate the self-assembly of nanoparticle clusters with uniform optical resonances, which could in turn be used to fabricate optical metafluids. Narrow size distributions are required to control not only the spectral features but also the morphology and yield of clusters in certain assembly schemes.
We experimentally demonstrate that a thin (approximately 150-nm) film of vanadium dioxide (VO2) deposited on sapphire has an anomalous thermal emittance profile when heated, which arises because of the optical interaction between the film and the substrate when the VO2 is at an intermediate state of its insulator-metal transition (IMT). Within the IMT region, the VO2 film comprises nanoscale islands of the metal and dielectric phases and can thus be viewed as a natural, disordered metamaterial. This structure displays ``perfect'' blackbodylike thermal emissivity over a narrow wavelength range (approximately 40 cm(-1)), surpassing the emissivity of our black-soot reference. We observe large broadband negative differential thermal emittance over a >10 degrees C range: Upon heating, the VO2-sapphire structure emits less thermal radiation and appears colder on an infrared camera. Our experimental approach allows for a direct measurement and extraction of wavelength-and temperature-dependent thermal emittance. We anticipate that emissivity engineering with thin-film geometries comprising VO2 and other thermochromic materials will find applications in infrared camouflage, thermal regulation, and infrared tagging and labeling.
The concept of optical phase discontinuities is applied to the design and demonstration of aberration-free planar lenses and axicons, comprising a phased array of ultrathin subwavelength-spaced optical antennas. The lenses and axicons consist of V-shaped nano-antennas that introduce a radial distribution of phase discontinuities, thereby generating respectively spherical wavefronts and nondiffracting Bessel beams at telecom wavelengths. Simulations are also presented to show that our aberration-free designs are applicable to high-numerical aperture lenses such as flat microscope objectives.
This paper reviews beam engineering of mid-infrared and terahertz quantum cascade lasers (QCLs), based on two approaches: designer plasmonic structures and deformed microcavities. The plasmonic structures couple laser emission into surface waves and control the laser wavefront in the near-field, thereby greatly increasing beam collimation or introducing new functionalities to QCLs. The plasmonic designs overall preserve laser performance in terms of operating temperature and power output. The deformed microcavity QCLs operate primarily on whispering-gallery modes, which have much higher quality factors than other modes, leading to lower threshold current densities. Cavity deformations are carefully controlled to greatly enhance directionality and output power.
We demonstrate optically thin quarter-wave plates built with metasurfaces that generate high-quality circularly polarized light over a broad wavelength range for arbitrary orientation of the incident linear polarization. The metasurface consists of an array of plasmonic antennas with spatially varying phase and polarization responses. Experimentally demonstrated quarter-wave plates generate light with a high degree of circular polarization (>0.97) from lambda = 5 to 12 mu m, representing a major advance in performance compared to previously reported plasmonics-based wave plates.
In this paper we describe a general method to avoid stress-induced buckling of thin and large freestanding membranes. We show that using properly designed supports, in the form of microbeams, we can reduce the out-of-plane deflection of the membrane while maintaining its stiffness. As a proof of principle, we used a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform to fabricate 30 mu m wide, 220 nm thick, free-standing Si membranes, supported by four 15 mu m long and 3 mu m wide microbeams. Using our approach, we are able to achieve an out-of-plane deformation of the membrane smaller than 50 nm in spite of 39 MPa of compressive internal stress. Our method is general, and can be applied to different material systems with compressive or tensile internal stress.
A new surface wave is introduced, the cosine-Gauss beam, which does not diffract while it propagates in a straight line and tightly bound to the metallic surface for distances up to 80 mu m. The generation of this highly localized wave is shown to be straightforward and highly controllable, with varying degrees of transverse confinement and directionality, by fabricating a plasmon launcher consisting of intersecting metallic gratings. Cosine-Gauss beams have potential for applications in plasmonics, notably for efficient coupling to nanophotonic devices, opening up new design possibilities for next-generation optical interconnects.
Romain Blanchard, Cecile Grezes, Stefan Menzel, Christian Pfluegl, Laurent Diehl, Yong Huang, Jae-Hyun Ryou, Russell D. Dupuis, and Federico Capasso. 2012. “Double-waveguide quantum cascade laser.” APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 100, 3.Abstract
We demonstrate 1.1W peak power at room-temperature from a double-waveguide quantum cascade laser (QCL) grown by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. Two full broadband QCL active regions were grown on top of each other separated by thick cladding layers to reduce gain competition. Simultaneous lasing on Fabry-Perot modes separated by as much as 360 cm(-1) is obtained. This design paves the way for high-brightness broadband mid-infrared sources, as well as more complex three-terminal devices. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3678033]
We report on a comprehensive study of electrical and optical properties of efficient near-infrared p(+)-i-n(+) photodetectors based on large ensembles of self-assembled, vertically aligned i-n(+) InP nanowires monolithically grown on a common p(+) InP substrate without any buffer layer. The nanowires have a polytype modulated crystal structure of wurtzite and zinc blende. The electrical data display excellent rectifying behavior with an ideality factor of about 2.5 at 300 K. The ideality factor scales with 1/T, which possibly reflects deviations from classical transport models due to the mixed crystal phase of the nanowires. The observed dark leakage current is of the order of merely similar to 100 fA/nanowire at 1 V reverse bias. The detectors display a linear increase of the photocurrent with reverse bias up to about 10 pA/nanowire at 5 V. From spectrally resolved measurements, we conclude that the photocurrent is primarily generated by funneling photogenerated carriers from the substrate into the NWs. Contributions from direct excitation of the NWs become increasingly important at low temperatures. The photocurrent decreases with temperature with an activation energy of about 50 meV, which we discuss in terms of a temperature-dependent diffusion length in the substrate and perturbed transport through the mixed-phase nanowires.