Gold metasurfaces as saturable absorbers for all-normal-dispersion ytterbium-doped mode-locked fiber laser

Zhijin Chen, Lili Gui*, Chuanshuo Wang, Xiaosheng Xiao, Chao Meng, Sergey I. Bozhevolnyi, Tian Zhang, Xiaoguang Zhang, Kun Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

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Optical metasurfaces, i.e., thin planar structures with subwavelength metal or dielectric unit cells, have attracted great interest due to their intriguing capabilities of shaping light in both linear and nonlinear regimes. However, their saturable absorption properties and corresponding applications have so far been rarely exploited. Here we report on passively mode-locked ytterbium-doped fiber lasers utilizing saturable metasurfaces made of periodically arranged gold nanorods. Three 400-nm-period metasurfaces with gold nanorods of different lengths (from 210 to 240 nm) and plasmonic resonances (from 968 to 1044 nm) are fabricated and found to exhibit nonlinear absorption with decent modulation depths, facilitating the formation of mode-locking states at 1060 nm. The corresponding lasers generate typically mode-locked pulses with the duration of ∼ 62.3 ps, repetition rate of 10.33 MHz, and signal-to-noise ratio of ∼74 dB. Our experimental results demonstrate that the gold nanorod-based metasurfaces can be used as relatively broadband mode-lockers in the 1-μm-wavelength range.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1530406
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number3
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jun 2022


  • Metamaterials
  • mode-locked lasers


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