Metamaterials have offered not only the unprecedented opportunity to generate unconventional electromagnetic properties that are not found in nature, but also the exciting potential to create customized nonlinear media with tailored high-order effects. Two particularly compelling directions of current interests are active metamaterials, where the optical properties can be purposely manipulated by external stimuli, and nonlinear metamaterials, which enable intensity-dependent frequency conversion of light. By exploring the interaction of these two directions, we leverage the electrical and optical functions simultaneously supported in nanostructured metals and demonstrate electrically-controlled nonlinear processes from photonic metamaterials. We show that a variety of nonlinear optical phenomena, including the wave mixing and the optical rectification, can be purposely modulated by applied voltage signals. In addition, electrically-induced and voltage-controlled nonlinear effects facilitate us to demonstrate the backward phase matching in a negative index material, a long standing prediction in nonlinear metamaterials. Other results to be covered in this talk include photon-drag effect in plasmonic metamaterials and ion-assisted nonlinear effects from metamaterials in electrolytes. Our results reveal a grand opportunity to exploit optical metamaterials as self-contained, dynamic electrooptic systems with intrinsically embedded electrical functions and optical nonlinearities.
L. Kang, Y. Cui, S. Lan, S. P. Rodrigues, M. L. Brongersma, and W. Cai, Nature Communications, 5, 4680 (2014).
S. P. Rodrigues and W.Cai, Nature Nanotechnology, 10, 387 (2015).
S. Lan, L. Kang, D. T. Schoen, S. P. Rodrigues, Y. Cui, M. L. Brongersma, and W. Cai, Nature Materials, 14, 807 (2015).
Wenshan Cai, "Electrically controlled nonlinear optical generation and signal processing in plasmonic metamaterials
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9918, Metamaterials, Metadevices, and Metasystems 2016, 99180R (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 29, 2016; Published: 9 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238137.5159519586001.
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