Abstract

We demonstrate that rapidly switched high-Q metasurfaces enable spectral regions of negative optical extinction.

© 2019 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement

The extinction coefficient of light passing through any photonic structure is defined as the deficit of optical power in transmission. Because optical extinction is caused by absorption, reflectance, and scattering, it must be positive as long as the structure is composed of gain-free time-invariant material. Moreover, for dispersive materials and photonic structures, the frequency-dependent extinction coefficient E(λ)1T(λ)>0 must be positive for every wavelength λ of the incident light, where T(λ) is the transmission coefficient.

This situation can be dramatically altered by time-variant media whose optical properties (e.g., their refractive index) are an explicit function of time. To illustrate this effect, we calculate the extinction of an incident optical pulse with complex-valued amplitude s+(t) by a single-mode time-varying metasurface (TVM) characterized by its amplitude a(t), natural frequency ω0, time-dependent damping rate γ(t), and radiative coupling rate γr. Within the framework of coupled-mode theory (CMT) [1], the transmitted wave s(t) is calculated according to the equations below:

a˙(t)+iω0a(t)+[γr+γnr(t)]a(t)=γrs+(t),
s(t)=s+(t)γra(t),
where γnr(t)=γ(t)γr>0 is a non-radiative damping rate of the mode. When the quality factor Q(t)ω0/2[γr+γnr(t)] rapidly decreases from its high initial value of Qi1 to its final value of Qf<Qi due to rapid increase of non-radiative losses, the TVM is assumed to be Q-switched.

For a Gaussian input signal s+(t)=s0exp(iω0tt2/τprobe2) incident on an instantaneously Q-switched TVM (from Qi=100 to Qf=5 at t=τ), the mode evolution a(t) is plotted in Fig. 1(a). We assume the following pulse and TVM parameters: ω0=2πc/λ0 (where λ0=3.3μm and c=3×1010cm/s is the speed of light) and τ=200fs. The transmission spectrum T(λ,τ)|s(λ,τ)|2/|s+(λ)|2, which depends on the Q-switching time τ and extinction E(λ,τ)1T(λ,τ), are calculated. The latter is plotted in Fig. 1(b). While E>0 for a metasurface that does not vary during the trapping time of the pulse (dashed line), negative extinction (NE) spectral regions corresponding to E<0 emerge for a TVM with τ<Q0/ω0. Intuitively, NE originates from (i) spectral broadening of the captured (resonant) photons caused by the dynamic Q-switching and (ii) their subsequent constructive interference with the non-resonant photons present in the broadband incident pulse. The spectral spacing Δλλ02/2πcτ between the NE regions is determined by the delay τ between TVM excitation at t=0 and switching at t=τ.

 

Fig. 1. Theory of negative light extinction by a TVM. (a) Evolution of the mode before and after the abrupt Q-switching at t=τ from Qi=100 to Qf=5 (η=0.05). (b) Extinction spectra for τ=200fs (solid line) and (dashed line). Redistribution of spectral components manifests in several regions of E<0. Shaded area: spectrum of the incident pulse s+(λ). (c) Conditions for negative extinction: Q-switching must be fast (horizontal axis) and deep (vertical axis); τ has been optimized to minimize E. The arrow indicates the parameters from panels (a) and (b), and the dot shows the experimental parameters.

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In a more realistic CMT calculation, we have used finite switching times τs<τ to establish the conditions for the emergence of the NE spectral region. According to Fig. 1(c), E(λ,τ)<0 is achieved for at least one value of τ, as long as the switching is fast (τsγr1) and deep (small ηQf/Qi).

To experimentally demonstrate the NE phenomenon, we have chosen a TVM comprised of an array of subwavelength resonators [see Fig. 2(a) for a scanning electron microscope image] made of amorphous germanium (a-Ge). High-Q photonic structures, such as microring and photonic crystal resonators [25], as well as fiber-based cavities [6], have been used to redistribute spectral components of light at the nanosecond and picosecond time scales. Recently, time-variant semiconductor metasurfaces have been used to generate new light frequencies over a broad spectral range [7,8], revealing their promise for ultrafast operation and spatiotemporal shaping [9]. To our knowledge, the NE phenomenon has not been reported. Here, we employ a TVM to demonstrate negative optical extinction in the mid-infrared (MIR) spectral range on a femtosecond time scale.

 

Fig. 2. Experimental realization of negative optical extinction using semiconductor TVMs. (a) Scanning electron microscopy image of the (a-Ge)-based TVM. The a-Ge layer thickness is 200 nm. (b) Transmittance of the unperturbed resonant TVM: experimental data (dots) and a Fano-resonance fit (solid line). (c) Experimental schematic: a TVM interacting with a MIR probe is Q-switched by a NIR pump via electron-hole generation. Extinction spectra of the MIR radiation are detected by a spectrometer as a function of delay between the NIR and MIR pulses. (d) Experimental measurements of E(λ,τ) for different pump–probe delay times τ. (e) Selected extinction spectra for τ=0.32ps (red), τ=0.52ps (green), τ=0.72ps (blue), and τ=1.92ps (black dashed). Pump and probe parameters: durations τprobe=τpump=35fs, wavelengths λprobeλ0 and λpump=0.78μm, fluences Fprobe=1μJ/cm2 and Fpump=150μJ/cm2; both beams were polarized along the short sides of the metasurface rectangles.

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The TVM was designed to exhibit a sharp transmittance dip with a quality factor of Qi100 at the resonant MIR wavelength λ0=3.32μm as shown in Fig. 2(b). A spectroscopic pump–probe apparatus [Fig. 2(c)] was used to study the optical extinction of a short MIR pulse by a TVM that was Q-switched by a delayed near-infrared (NIR) pulse of the same duration; see Fig. 2 caption for parameters. Single-photon pump absorption Q-switches the TVM over the τs=τpump time via electron-hole plasma generation. Next, the measured differential transmission spectra ΔT(λ,τ)/T(λ), where ΔT(λ,τ)T(λ,τ)T(λ,), were converted into the extinction spectra E(λ,τ)=1[T(λ)+ΔT(λ,τ)]/T0 using a Fano-resonance fit [10] of T(λ) [Fig. 2(b), solid line]. Note that the coefficient T0=0.89 was applied to adjust the data for the residual reflectance that is not related to the properties of the metasurface. In contrast with the recently reported blue-shifting of the entire spectrum due to the plasma-driven increase of the refractive index [8], here the spectral reshaping happens on both the red and blue sides of the TVM resonance as shown in Fig. 2(d). In Fig. 2(e), extinction is replotted for four delay times. Indeed, as predicted in Fig. 1, at least one MIR spectral range corresponding to E<0 can be identified for all but the largest time delays; the latter corresponds to the effectively stationary metasurface. We have found good qualitative agreement between the experiment and theory for both cases of the static metasurface and the TVM [Figs. 1(b) and 2(e)], suggesting that the NE regime is indeed realized in our TVM. Appreciable NE is found throughout the 3.143.28μm spectral range and is likely to extend further toward shorter wavelengths outside the detection range of our setup. Crucially, the spectral locations of the NE are tunable, controlled by the time delay τ. The minimal measured extinction coefficient Emin(exp)0.05 [Fig. 2(e): green curve] is in good agreement with the theoretical value of Emin(th)0.03 [Fig. 1(c): black dot] corresponding to the estimated experimental parameters of η(exp)0.28 and τs=35fs.

In conclusion, we have predicted and experimentally demonstrated the existence of negative optical extinction of a femtosecond MIR laser pulse in a time-variant semiconductor metasurface. Negative extinction by ultrafast control of the loss in ultrathin resonators opens new opportunities for spectral shaping of short light pulses. The demonstrated approach can be extended to other spectral ranges, intensities (including single photons), and form-factors (e.g., in integrated resonators), and it may find use in novel light sources, pulse shaping schemes, optical amplifiers, and new wavelength-division multiplexing strategies.

Funding

Office of Naval Research (N00014-17-1-2161); National Science Foundation (CHE-1726536, DMR-1719875, NNCI-1542081); U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FG02-12ER16347, DE-SC0020101).

Disclosures

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

REFERENCES

1. M. Minkov, Y. Shi, and S. Fan, APL Photon. 2, 076101 (2017). [CrossRef]  

2. S. F. Preble, Q. Xu, and M. Lipson, Nat. Photonics 1, 293 (2007). [CrossRef]  

3. M. Notomi, T. Tanabe, A. Shinya, E. Kuramochi, H. Taniyama, S. Mitsugi, and M. Morita, Opt. Express 15, 17458 (2007). [CrossRef]  

4. M. W. McCutcheon, A. G. Pattantyus-Abraham, G. W. Rieger, and J. F. Young, Opt. Express 15, 11472 (2007). [CrossRef]  

5. T. Tanabe, M. Notomi, H. Taniyama, and E. Kuramochi, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 043907 (2009). [CrossRef]  

6. A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019). [CrossRef]  

7. K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018). [CrossRef]  

8. M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019). [CrossRef]  

9. A. M. Shaltout, V. M. Shalaev, and M. L. Brongersma, Science 364, eaat3100 (2019). [CrossRef]  

10. M. F. Limonov, M. V. Rybin, A. N. Poddubny, and Y. S. Kivshar, Nat. Photonics 11, 543 (2017). [CrossRef]  

References

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  1. M. Minkov, Y. Shi, and S. Fan, APL Photon. 2, 076101 (2017).
    [Crossref]
  2. S. F. Preble, Q. Xu, and M. Lipson, Nat. Photonics 1, 293 (2007).
    [Crossref]
  3. M. Notomi, T. Tanabe, A. Shinya, E. Kuramochi, H. Taniyama, S. Mitsugi, and M. Morita, Opt. Express 15, 17458 (2007).
    [Crossref]
  4. M. W. McCutcheon, A. G. Pattantyus-Abraham, G. W. Rieger, and J. F. Young, Opt. Express 15, 11472 (2007).
    [Crossref]
  5. T. Tanabe, M. Notomi, H. Taniyama, and E. Kuramochi, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 043907 (2009).
    [Crossref]
  6. A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019).
    [Crossref]
  7. K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018).
    [Crossref]
  8. M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019).
    [Crossref]
  9. A. M. Shaltout, V. M. Shalaev, and M. L. Brongersma, Science 364, eaat3100 (2019).
    [Crossref]
  10. M. F. Limonov, M. V. Rybin, A. N. Poddubny, and Y. S. Kivshar, Nat. Photonics 11, 543 (2017).
    [Crossref]

2019 (3)

A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019).
[Crossref]

M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019).
[Crossref]

A. M. Shaltout, V. M. Shalaev, and M. L. Brongersma, Science 364, eaat3100 (2019).
[Crossref]

2018 (1)

K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018).
[Crossref]

2017 (2)

M. F. Limonov, M. V. Rybin, A. N. Poddubny, and Y. S. Kivshar, Nat. Photonics 11, 543 (2017).
[Crossref]

M. Minkov, Y. Shi, and S. Fan, APL Photon. 2, 076101 (2017).
[Crossref]

2009 (1)

T. Tanabe, M. Notomi, H. Taniyama, and E. Kuramochi, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 043907 (2009).
[Crossref]

2007 (3)

Brongersma, M. L.

A. M. Shaltout, V. M. Shalaev, and M. L. Brongersma, Science 364, eaat3100 (2019).
[Crossref]

Chowdhury, E.

M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019).
[Crossref]

Dutt, A.

A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019).
[Crossref]

Fan, S.

A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019).
[Crossref]

M. Minkov, Y. Shi, and S. Fan, APL Photon. 2, 076101 (2017).
[Crossref]

Fan, Z.

M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019).
[Crossref]

Kang, B.

K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018).
[Crossref]

Kivshar, Y. S.

M. F. Limonov, M. V. Rybin, A. N. Poddubny, and Y. S. Kivshar, Nat. Photonics 11, 543 (2017).
[Crossref]

Kuramochi, E.

Lee, K.

K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018).
[Crossref]

Limonov, M. F.

M. F. Limonov, M. V. Rybin, A. N. Poddubny, and Y. S. Kivshar, Nat. Photonics 11, 543 (2017).
[Crossref]

Lin, Q.

A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019).
[Crossref]

Lipson, M.

S. F. Preble, Q. Xu, and M. Lipson, Nat. Photonics 1, 293 (2007).
[Crossref]

McCutcheon, M. W.

Miller, D. A. B.

A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019).
[Crossref]

Min, B.

K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018).
[Crossref]

Minkov, M.

A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019).
[Crossref]

M. Minkov, Y. Shi, and S. Fan, APL Photon. 2, 076101 (2017).
[Crossref]

Mitsugi, S.

Morita, M.

Notomi, M.

Park, J.

K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018).
[Crossref]

Pattantyus-Abraham, A. G.

Poddubny, A. N.

M. F. Limonov, M. V. Rybin, A. N. Poddubny, and Y. S. Kivshar, Nat. Photonics 11, 543 (2017).
[Crossref]

Preble, S. F.

S. F. Preble, Q. Xu, and M. Lipson, Nat. Photonics 1, 293 (2007).
[Crossref]

Rieger, G. W.

Rotermund, F.

K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018).
[Crossref]

Rybin, M. V.

M. F. Limonov, M. V. Rybin, A. N. Poddubny, and Y. S. Kivshar, Nat. Photonics 11, 543 (2017).
[Crossref]

Shalaev, V. M.

A. M. Shaltout, V. M. Shalaev, and M. L. Brongersma, Science 364, eaat3100 (2019).
[Crossref]

Shaltout, A. M.

A. M. Shaltout, V. M. Shalaev, and M. L. Brongersma, Science 364, eaat3100 (2019).
[Crossref]

Shcherbakov, M. R.

M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019).
[Crossref]

Shi, Y.

M. Minkov, Y. Shi, and S. Fan, APL Photon. 2, 076101 (2017).
[Crossref]

Shinya, A.

Shvets, G.

M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019).
[Crossref]

Son, J.

K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018).
[Crossref]

Talisa, N.

M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019).
[Crossref]

Tanabe, T.

Taniyama, H.

Werner, K.

M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019).
[Crossref]

Xu, Q.

S. F. Preble, Q. Xu, and M. Lipson, Nat. Photonics 1, 293 (2007).
[Crossref]

Young, J. F.

Yuan, L.

A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019).
[Crossref]

APL Photon. (1)

M. Minkov, Y. Shi, and S. Fan, APL Photon. 2, 076101 (2017).
[Crossref]

Nat. Commun. (2)

A. Dutt, M. Minkov, Q. Lin, L. Yuan, D. A. B. Miller, and S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 10, 3122 (2019).
[Crossref]

M. R. Shcherbakov, K. Werner, Z. Fan, N. Talisa, E. Chowdhury, and G. Shvets, Nat. Commun. 10, 1345 (2019).
[Crossref]

Nat. Photonics (3)

K. Lee, J. Son, B. Kang, J. Park, F. Rotermund, and B. Min, Nat. Photonics 12, 765 (2018).
[Crossref]

S. F. Preble, Q. Xu, and M. Lipson, Nat. Photonics 1, 293 (2007).
[Crossref]

M. F. Limonov, M. V. Rybin, A. N. Poddubny, and Y. S. Kivshar, Nat. Photonics 11, 543 (2017).
[Crossref]

Opt. Express (2)

Phys. Rev. Lett. (1)

T. Tanabe, M. Notomi, H. Taniyama, and E. Kuramochi, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 043907 (2009).
[Crossref]

Science (1)

A. M. Shaltout, V. M. Shalaev, and M. L. Brongersma, Science 364, eaat3100 (2019).
[Crossref]

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Figures (2)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. Theory of negative light extinction by a TVM. (a) Evolution of the mode before and after the abrupt Q -switching at t = τ from Q i = 100 to Q f = 5 ( η = 0.05 ). (b) Extinction spectra for τ = 200 fs (solid line) and (dashed line). Redistribution of spectral components manifests in several regions of E < 0 . Shaded area: spectrum of the incident pulse s + ( λ ) . (c) Conditions for negative extinction: Q -switching must be fast (horizontal axis) and deep (vertical axis); τ has been optimized to minimize E . The arrow indicates the parameters from panels (a) and (b), and the dot shows the experimental parameters.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Experimental realization of negative optical extinction using semiconductor TVMs. (a) Scanning electron microscopy image of the (a-Ge)-based TVM. The a-Ge layer thickness is 200 nm. (b) Transmittance of the unperturbed resonant TVM: experimental data (dots) and a Fano-resonance fit (solid line). (c) Experimental schematic: a TVM interacting with a MIR probe is Q -switched by a NIR pump via electron-hole generation. Extinction spectra of the MIR radiation are detected by a spectrometer as a function of delay between the NIR and MIR pulses. (d) Experimental measurements of E ( λ , τ ) for different pump–probe delay times τ . (e) Selected extinction spectra for τ = 0.32 ps (red), τ = 0.52 ps (green), τ = 0.72 ps (blue), and τ = 1.92 ps (black dashed). Pump and probe parameters: durations τ probe = τ pump = 35 fs , wavelengths λ probe λ 0 and λ pump = 0.78 μm , fluences F probe = 1 μJ / cm 2 and F pump = 150 μJ / cm 2 ; both beams were polarized along the short sides of the metasurface rectangles.

Equations (2)

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a ˙ ( t ) + i ω 0 a ( t ) + [ γ r + γ n r ( t ) ] a ( t ) = γ r s + ( t ) ,
s ( t ) = s + ( t ) γ r a ( t ) ,

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