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Published August 18, 2017 | Submitted + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Millivolt Modulation of Plasmonic Metasurface Optical Response via Ionic Conductance


A plasmonic metasurface with an electrically tunable optical response that operates at strikingly low modulation voltages is experimentally demonstrated. The fabricated metasurface shows up to 30% relative change in reflectance in the visible spectral range upon application of 5 mV and 78% absolute change in reflectance upon application of 100 mV of bias. The designed metasurface consists of nanostructured silver and indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes which are separated by 5 nm thick alumina. The millivolt-scale optical modulation is attributed to a new modulation mechanism, in which transport of silver ions through alumina dielectric leads to bias-induced nucleation and growth of silver nanoparticles in the ITO counter-electrode, altering the optical extinction response. This transport mechanism, which occurs at applied electric fields of 1 mV nm^(−1), provides a new approach to use of ionic transport for electrical control over light–matter interactions.

Additional Information

© 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Version of record online: 14 June 2017; Manuscript Revised: 28 April 2017; Manuscript Received: 21 February 2017. This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Grant No. 151853), Hybrid Nanophotonics Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative Grant (Air Force Office of Scientific Research, FA9550-12-1-0024), and the Samsung Electronics Metaphotonics Cluster. The conducting oxide material synthesis design and characterization was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science Grant (DE-FG02-07ER46405). Used facilities were supported by the Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) and Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) at Caltech. The authors would like to thank Artur R. Davoyan, Matthew Sullivan Hunt, and Barry Baker for useful discussions; Carol Garland for help with the TEM imaging; and Jonathan Grandidier for his help with the transfer matrix code. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Attached Files

Submitted - 1607.03391.pdf

Supplemental Material - adma201701044-sup-0001-S1.pdf


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