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See detailNear- and Mid-Infrared Graphene-Based Photonic Architectures for Ultrafast and Low-Power Electro-Optical Switching and Ultra-High Resolution Imaging
Caligiuri, Vincenzo; Pianelli, Alessandro; Miscuglio, Mario et al

in ACS Applied Nano Materials (2020), 3(12), 1221812230

Confining near-infrared (NIR) and mid-infrared (MIR) radiation (1–10 μm) at the nanoscale is one of the main challenges in photonics. Thanks to the transparency of silicon in the NIR-MIR range ... [more ▼]

Confining near-infrared (NIR) and mid-infrared (MIR) radiation (1–10 μm) at the nanoscale is one of the main challenges in photonics. Thanks to the transparency of silicon in the NIR-MIR range, optoelectronic systems like electro-optical modulators have been broadly designed in this range. However, the trade-off between energy-per-bit consumption and speed still constitutes a significant bottleneck, preventing such a technology to express its full potentialities. Moreover, the harmless nature of NIR radiation makes it ideal for bio-photonic applications. In this work, we theoretically showcase a new kind of electro-optical modulators in the NIR-MIR range that optimize the trade-off between power consumption, switching speed, and light confinement, leveraging on the interplay between graphene and metamaterials. We investigate several configurations among which the one consisting in a SiO2/graphene hyperbolic metamaterial (HMM) outstands. The peculiar multilayered configuration of the HMM allowed one also to minimize the equivalent electrical capacitance to achieve attoJoule electro/optical modulation at about 500 MHz switching speed. This system manifests the so-called dielectric singularity, in correspondence to which an HMM lens with resolving power of λ/1660 has been designed, allowing to resolve 3 nm-wide objects placed at an interdistance of 3 nm and to overcome the diffraction limit by 3 orders of magnitude. The imaging possibilities opened by such technologies are evident especially in bio-photonic applications, where the investigation of biological entities with tailored/broadband-wavelength radiation and nanometer precision is necessary. Moreover, the modulation performances demonstrated by the graphene-based HMM configure it as a promise for ultrafast and low-power opto-electronics applications. [less ▲]

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See detailUltrafast all-optical switching enabled by epsilon-near-zero-tailored absorption in metal-insulator nanocavities
Kuttruff, Joel; Garoli, Denis; Allerbeck, Jonas et al

in Communications Physics (2020), 3

Ultrafast control of light−matter interactions is fundamental in view of new technological frontiers of information processing. However, conventional optical elements are either static or feature ... [more ▼]

Ultrafast control of light−matter interactions is fundamental in view of new technological frontiers of information processing. However, conventional optical elements are either static or feature switching speeds that are extremely low with respect to the time scales at which it is possible to control light. Here, we exploit the artificial epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) modes of a metal-insulator-metal nanocavity to tailor the linear photon absorption of our system and realize a nondegenerate all-optical ultrafast modulation of the reflectance at a specific wavelength. Optical pumping of the system at its high energy ENZ mode leads to a strong redshift of the low energy mode because of the transient increase of the local dielectric function, which leads to a sub-3-ps control of the reflectance at a specific wavelength with a relative modulation depth approaching 120%. [less ▲]

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