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Published October 22, 2021 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Broadband electro-optic polarization conversion with atomically thin black phosphorus


Active polarization control is highly desirable in photonic systems but has been limited mostly to discrete structures in bulky dielectric media and liquid crystal–based variable retarders. Here, we report electrically reconfigurable polarization conversion across telecommunication wavelengths (1410 to 1575 nanometers) in van der Waals layered materials using tri-layer black phosphorus (TLBP) integrated in a Fabry-Pérot cavity. The large electrical tunability of birefringence in TLBP enables spectrally broadband polarization control. We found that polarization states could be generated over a large fraction of the Poincaré sphere through spectral tuning, and that electrical tuning enables the state of polarization conversion to span nearly half the Poincaré sphere. We observed both linear to circular and cross-polarization conversion with voltage, demonstrating versatility with a high dynamic range.

Additional Information

© 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 27 May 2021; accepted 13 September 2021. We thank W. S. Whitney, M. Z. Alam, J. Wong, and P. C. Wu for fruitful discussions; G. R. Rossman for access to Raman and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and A. Dutt for valuable feedback on the work. The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Department of Energy Office of Science under grant DE-FG02-07ER46405. K.W. and T.T. acknowledge support from the Elemental Strategy Initiative conducted by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT grant JPMXP0112101001), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS KAKENHI grant JP20H00354), and Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST grant JPMJCR15F3), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Author contributions: S.B., M.Y.G., and H.A.A conceived the project. S.B. fabricated and characterized the devices. S.B. and M.Y.G. performed numerical calculations and electrical and optical measurements and discussed the results. H.A.A. supervised the project. K.W. and T.T. provided hBN and BP crystals. S.B. wrote the manuscript with input from M.Y.G and H.A.A. The authors declare no competing financial interests. Data and materials availability: All data required to evaluate the conclusions in the manuscript are available in the main text or the supplementary materials.

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August 20, 2023
October 23, 2023