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Ultrasensitive, Mechanically Responsive Optical Metasurfaces via Strain Amplification

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journal contribution
posted on 24.09.2018, 00:00 by Wenxiang Chen, Wenjing Liu, Yijie Jiang, Mingliang Zhang, Naixin Song, Nicholas J. Greybush, Jiacen Guo, Anna K. Estep, Kevin T. Turner, Ritesh Agarwal, Cherie R. Kagan
Optical metasurfaces promise ultrathin, lightweight, miniaturized optical components with outstanding capabilities to manipulate the amplitude, phase, and polarization of light compared to conventional, bulk optics. The emergence of reconfigurable metasurfaces further integrates dynamic tunability with optical functionalities. Here, we report a structurally reconfigurable, optical metasurface constructed by integrating a plasmonic lattice array in the gap between a pair of symmetric microrods that serve to locally amplify the strain created on an elastomeric substrate by an external mechanical stimulus. The strain on the metasurface is amplified by a factor of 1.5–15.9 relative to the external strain by tailoring the microrod geometry. For the highest strain amplification geometry, the mechano-sensitivity of the optical responses of the plasmonic lattice array is a factor of 10 greater than that of state-of-the-art stretchable plasmonic resonator arrays. The spatial arrangement and therefore the optical response of the plasmonic lattice array are reversible, showing little hysteresis.