Abstract

A terahertz modulator based on the insulator–metal transition (IMT) in a photonic crystal waveguide (PCW) coated by vanadium dioxide (VO2) film is proposed. The numerical simulations show that a dielectric state and a metallic state with quite different photonic band structures and transmission properties in the proposed PCW are reciprocally converted because of the IMT of VO2, and the pass-bands of this PCW are greatly shifted from 0.68 to 0.8 and 1.02 to 1.25 THz to 0.8–1.45 THz. This PCW significantly enhances the modulation depth and sensitivity compared with bare VO2 film. Extensive investigation demonstrates that the thickness of VO2 film greatly affects the IMT process in the PCW, and limits the ultimate modulation depth of the device. The proposed modulation scheme will be of great significance for potential THz applications.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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