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Graphene-Integrated Metamaterial Device for All-Electrical Polarization Control of Terahertz Quantum Cascade Lasers

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/05/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>ACS Photonics
Issue number6
Volume6
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)1547-1555
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Optoelectronic modulators that operate by the electrical tuning of plasmonic resonator structures have demonstrated fast (>MHz) manipulation of terahertz (THz) radiation for communications, imaging, and spectroscopy applications. Among this class of THz device, chiral metamaterial-based polarization modulators have attracted increasing attention due to the importance of THz polarization control for chemistry, biology, and spectroscopy applications, as well as for THz communication protocols. In this paper, active polarization modulation of a THz quantum cascade laser is demonstrated by the electrical tuning of a 2D chiral metamaterial array. The operating principle of this device is based on an electromagnetically induced transparency analogue, produced by the coupling between a bright resonator and two dark resonators. The orientation of these resonators is such that a radiating electric dipole orthogonal to the incident electric field polarization is induced, causing a rotation of the polarization angle of the transmitted radiation. By variably dampening the dark resonators using graphene, the coupling condition is electrically modulated such that continuous tuning of the transmitted polarization angle is achieved. This device, operating at room temperature, can be readily implemented as a fast, optoelectronic, polarization modulator with a maximum tuning range of 20 degrees at 1.75 THz, with demonstrated reconfiguration speeds of >5 MHz.