Coupling of metasurfaces to intersubband transitions (ISTs) in semiconductor quantum wells (QWs) has been extensively studied for various applications ranging from generating giant nonlinear optical response to designing tunable metasurfaces for applications such as ultrafast spatial optical modulators and voltage tunable filters. In this work, we experimentally demonstrate a fundamentally new approach of actively controlling the coupling of ISTs in QWs to a metasurface for voltage tuning its optical response. Unlike previous approaches, we use voltage-controlled quantum tunneling to control the carrier concentration in the QWs for turning on/off the ISTs. We design a multi-quantum well structure consisting of four undoped InGaAs wells with AlInAs barriers grown on top of a highly doped InGaAs layer that acts as an electron reservoir. The heterostructure is optimized such that the first IST in all the wells is at 11µm. A complementary gold metasurface with dipole resonances at 11µm is fabricated on top of the QW structure. We designed the heterostructure such that by applying a bias of 1V, the energy bands of all the QWs get aligned simultaneously, leading to the occupation of the ground state of all the QWs via quantum tunneling of the electrons from the electron reservoir. The ISTs which were turned off due to negligible electron density gets turned on at 1V, and this leads to coupling between the ISTs and the dipoles resonances of the metasurface. The voltage induced coupling leads to reflectance modulation which we confirmed experimentally by rapid scan double modulation FTIR measurements.
Raktim Sarma, Salvatore Campione, Michael Goldflam, Loan Le, M. Lange, Joshua Shank, Michael Wanke, Jinhyun Noh, Peide Ye, Isaac Ruiz, Stephen Howell, Michael Sinclair, Joel Wendt, and Igal Brener, "Reflectance modulation from a metasurface coupled to intersubband transitions in semiconductor quantum wells using quantum tunneling (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10721, Active Photonic Platforms X, 1072123 (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 23, 2018; Published: 17 September 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2321900.5836038668001.
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