Abstract

We suggest a novel switchable plasmonic dipole nanoantenna operating at mid-infrared frequencies that exploits phase-change materials. We show that the induced dipole moments of a nanoantenna, where a germanium antimony telluride (Ge3Sb2Te6 or GST for short) nanopatch acts as a spacer between two coupled metallic nanopatches, can be controlled in a disruptive sense. By switching GST between its crystalline and amorphous phases, the nanoantenna can exhibit either an electric or a balanced magneto-electric dipole-like radiation. While the former radiation pattern is omnidirectional, the latter is directive. Based on this property exciting switching devices can be perceived, such as a metasurface whose functionality can be switched between an absorber and a reflector. The switching between stable amorphous and crystalline phases occurs on timescales of nanoseconds and can be achieved by an electrical or optical pulse.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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