Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Abstract-Photo-generated metamaterials induce modulation of CW terahertz quantum cascade lasers.
Francesco P Mezzapesa, Lorenzo L Columbo, Carlo Rizza, Massimo Brambilla, Alessardro Ciattoni,Maurizio Dabbicco, Miriam S Vitiello, Gaetano Scamarcio
Periodic patterns of photo-excited carriers on a semiconductor surface profoundly modifies its effective permittivity, creating a stationary all-optical quasi-metallic metamaterial. Intriguingly, one can tailor its artificial birefringence to modulate with unprecedented degrees of freedom both the amplitude and phase of a quantum cascade laser (QCL) subject to optical feedback from such an anisotropic reflector. Here, we conceive and devise a reconfigurable photo-designed Terahertz (THz) modulator and exploit it in a proof-of-concept experiment to control the emission properties of THz QCLs. Photo-exciting sub-wavelength metastructures on silicon, we induce polarization-dependent changes in the intra-cavity THz field, that can be probed by monitoring the voltage across the QCL terminals. This inherently flexible approach promises groundbreaking impact on THz photonics applications, including THz phase modulators, fast switches, and active hyperbolic media.