Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published January 2023 | Published
Journal Article Open

Electrically tunable conducting oxide metasurfaces for high power applications


Active metasurfaces designed to operate at optical frequencies are flat optical elements that can dynamic, subwavelength-scale wavefront control of reflected or transmitted light. The practical and fundamental power-handling limits of active metasurfaces at high pulse energies and high average powers determine the potential applications for these emerging photonic components. Here, we investigate thermal performance limits of reflective gate-tunable conducting oxide metasurfaces illuminated with high power density laser beams, for both continuous wave (CW) and pulsed laser illumination. Our gate-tunable metasurfaces use indium tin oxide (ITO) as an active material, which undergoes an epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) transition under applied electrical bias. We experimentally show that under CW illumination, there is no significant change in the electrically tunable metasurface optical response for high irradiances ranging from 1.6 kW/cm² to 9.1 kW/cm² when the illuminating laser beam diameter is 7 μm. Even under an applied bias, when over 60% of the incoming light is absorbed in a 1 nm–thick charge accumulation layer within ITO, the local temperature rise in the metasurface is modest, supporting its robustness for high-power applications. Additionally, we theoretically show that in the ENZ regime, the metasurface reflectance can be increased by a factor of 10 by replacing the active ITO layer with cadmium oxide (CdO). Thus conducting oxide metasurfaces can tolerate the power densities needed in higher power applications, including free space optical communications, to light detection and ranging (LiDAR), as well as laser-based additive manufacturing.

Additional Information

© 2023 the author(s), published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The authors deeply appreciate help in the form of the close reading of the manuscript by Rebecca Glaudell, Haley Bauser, and Arun Nagpal. This work was also performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE‐AC52‐07NA27344. The release number is LLNL-JRNL-815569. The authors gratefully acknowledge useful discussions with Claudio Hail. Research funding: This work was supported by NASA Early Stage Innovations (ESI) Grant 80NSSC19K0213 (R.S., P.T., J.S., M.G. & H.A.A.). We acknowledge the support of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LDRD (#19-FS-032). This work was supported by the Meta-Imaging MURI grant #FA9550-21-1-0312 from Air Force Office of Scientific Research (R.S., P.T., J.S., M.G. & H.A.A.).

Attached Files

Published - 10.1515_nanoph-2022-0594.pdf


Files (4.5 MB)
Name Size Download all
4.5 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 25, 2023