Versatile Polarization Generation with an Aluminum Plasmonic Metasurface
journal contributionposted on 05.12.2016, 00:00 by Pin Chieh Wu, Wei-Yi Tsai, Wei Ting Chen, Yao-Wei Huang, Ting-Yu Chen, Jia-Wern Chen, Chun Yen Liao, Cheng Hung Chu, Greg Sun, Din Ping Tsai
All forms of light manipulation rely on light–matter interaction, the primary mechanism of which is the modulation of its electromagnetic fields by the localized electromagnetic fields of atoms. One of the important factors that influence the strength of interaction is the polarization of the electromagnetic field. The generation and manipulation of light polarization have been traditionally accomplished with bulky optical components such as waveplates, polarizers, and polarization beam splitters that are optically thick. The miniaturization of these devices is highly desirable for the development of a new class of compact, flat, and broadband optical components that can be integrated together on a single photonics chip. Here we demonstrate, for the first time, a reflective metasurface polarization generator (MPG) capable of producing light beams of any polarizations all from a linearly polarized light source with a single optically thin chip. Six polarization light beams are achieved simultaneously including four linear polarizations along different directions and two circular polarizations, all conveniently separated into different reflection angles. With the Pancharatnam–Berry phase-modulation method, the MPG sample was fabricated with aluminum as the plasmonic metal instead of the conventional gold or silver, which allowed for its broadband operation covering the entire visible spectrum. The versatility and compactness of the MPG capable of transforming any incident wave into light beams of arbitrary polarizations over a broad spectral range are an important step forward in achieving a complete set of flat optics for integrated photonics with far-reaching applications.