Full-range birefringence control with piezoelectric MEMS-based metasurfaces

Chao Meng, Paul C.V. Thrane, Fei Ding*, Sergey I. Bozhevolnyi

*Corresponding author for this work

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Dynamic polarization control is crucial for emerging highly integrated photonic systems with diverse metasurfaces being explored for its realization, but efficient, fast, and broadband operation remains a cumbersome challenge. While efficient optical metasurfaces (OMSs) involving liquid crystals suffer from inherently slow responses, other OMS realizations are limited either in the operating wavelength range (due to resonances involved) or in the range of birefringence tuning. Capitalizing on our development of piezoelectric micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) based dynamic OMSs, we demonstrate reflective MEMS-OMS dynamic wave plates (DWPs) with high polarization conversion efficiencies (∼75%), broadband operation (∼100 nm near the operating wavelength of 800 nm), fast responses (<0.4 milliseconds) and full-range birefringence control that enables completely encircling the Poincaré sphere along trajectories determined by the incident light polarization and DWP orientation. Demonstrated complete electrical control over light polarization opens new avenues in further integration and miniaturization of optical networks and systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2071
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 19. Apr 2022

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