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Title: Nanobenders as efficient piezoelectric actuators for widely tunable nanophotonics at CMOS-level voltages

Tuning and reconfiguring of nanophotonic components are needed to realize systems incorporating many components. The electrostatic force can deform a structure and tune its optical response. Despite the success of electrostatic actuators, they suffer from trade-offs between tuning voltage, tuning range, and on-chip area. Piezoelectric actuation could resolve these challenges, but only pm-per-volt scale wavelength tunability has been achieved. Here we propose and demonstrate compact piezoelectric actuators, called nanobenders, that transduce tens of nanometers per volt. By leveraging the non-uniform electric field from submicron electrodes, we generate bending of a piezoelectric nanobeam. Combined with a sliced photonic crystal cavity to sense displacement, we show tuning of an optical resonance by ~ 5 nm V−1 (0.6 THz V−1) and between 1520 ~ 1560 nm (~ 400 linewidths) within 4 V. Finally, we consider tunable nanophotonic components enabled by the nanobenders.

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Award ID(s):
1708734 1808100
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Communications Physics
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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