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Reconfigurable photoinduced terahertz wave modulation using hybrid metal–silicon metasurface

We present a photoinduced reconfigurable metasurface to enable high spatial resolution terahertz (THz) wave modulation. Conventional photoinduced THz wave modulation uses optically induced conductive patterns on a semiconductor substrate to create programmable passive THz devices. The technique, albeit versatile and straightforward, suffers from limited performance resulting from the severe lateral diffusion of the photogenerated carriers that undermines the spatial resolution and conductivity contrast of the photoinduced conductive patterns. The proposed metasurface overcomes the limitation using a metal-jointed silicon mesa array with subwavelength-scaled dimensions on an insulator substrate. The structure physically restrains the lateral diffusion of the photogenerated carriers while ensuring the electrical conductivity between the silicon mesas , which is essential for THz wave modulation. The metasurface creates high-definition photoconductive patterns with dimensions smaller than the diffusion length of photogenerated carriers. The metasurface provides a modulation depth of −20 to −10 dB for the THz waves between 0.2 to 1.2 THz and supports a THz bandpass filter with a tunable central frequency. The new, to the best of our knowledge, design concept will benefit the implementation of reconfigurable THz devices.

Authors:
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10368798
Journal Name:
Optics Letters
Volume:
47
Issue:
11
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 2750
ISSN:
0146-9592; OPLEDP
Publisher:
Optical Society of America
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5. Electro-optic (EO) modulators rely on the interaction of optical and electrical signals with second-order nonlinear media. For the optical signal, this interaction can be strongly enhanced using dielectric slot–waveguide structures that exploit a field discontinuity at the interface between a high-index waveguide core and the low-index EO cladding. In contrast to this, the electrical signal is usually applied through conductive regions in the direct vicinity of the optical waveguide. To avoid excessive optical loss, the conductivity of these regions is maintained at a moderate level, thus leading to inherentRClimitations of the modulation bandwidth. In this paper, we show that these limitations can be overcome by extending the slot–waveguide concept to the modulating radio-frequency (RF) signal. Our device combines an RF slotline that relies on$BaTiO3$as a high-k dielectric material with a conventional silicon photonic slot waveguide and a highly efficient organic EO cladding material. In a proof-of-concept experiment, we demonstrate a 1 mm long Mach–Zehnder modulator that offers a 3 dB bandwidth of 76 GHz and a 6 dB bandwidth of 110 GHz along with a small$π<#comment/>$voltage of 1.3 V ($Uπ<#comment/>L=1.3Vmm$). Wemore »