My watch list  

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons


Achim Woessner/ICFO

This is a phase modulation due to a local wavelength change.

Modulating the amplitude and phase of light is a key ingredient for many of applications such as wavefront shaping, transformation optics, phased arrays, modulators and sensors. Performing this task with high efficiency and small footprint is a major challenge for the development of optoelectronic devices.

ICFO researchers Dr. Achim Woessner and Dr. Mark Lundeberg, led by ICREA Prof. at ICFO Frank Koppens, in collaboration with Prof. Rainer Hillenbrand from CIC Nanogune, Iacopo Torre and Prof. Marco Polini from IIT and Dr. Yuanda Gao and Prof. James Hone from Columbia University, have developed a phase modulator based on graphene capable of tuning the light phase between 0 and 2π in situ.

To achieve this, they exploited the unique wavelength tunability of graphene plasmons, light coupled to electrons in graphene. In their experiment, they used ultra-high quality graphene and build a fully functional phase modulator with a device footprint of only 350 nm, which is 30 times than the wavelength of the infrared light used for this experiment. A near-field microscope was used to excite and image the plasmons, allowing an unprecedented insight into the plasmon properties such as their wavelength and phase.

This new type of phase modulator enables graphene plasmons to be used for ultra-compact light modulators and phase arrays with the possibility to control, steer and focus light in situ. This has potential applications for on-chip biosensing and two dimensional transformation optics.

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • plasmons
  • photonics
  • electrons
  • Columbia University
  • Institute of Photon…
More about ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences
  • News

    The photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

    Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as the camera you have in your phone. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for light detectors can offer significant improvements with respect to materials being used nowadays. For example, graphe ... more

    An ultradilute quantum liquid made from ultra-cold atoms

    Liquids and gases are two different phases of matter that are part of our everyday life. While gases are dilute, compressible and take the size of their container, liquids are dense, have a fixed volume and in small quantities form droplets. These are ensembles of particles that remain boun ... more

    Quantum nanoscope

    Researchers have studied how light can be used to “see” the quantum nature of an electronic material. They managed to do that by capturing light in a net of carbon atoms and slowing down light it down so that it moves almost as slow as the electrons in the graphene. Then something special h ... more

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE