Electrically driven hybrid photonic metamaterials for multifunctional control

Lei Kang, Liu Liu, Sawyer D. Campbell, Taiwei Yue, Qiang Ren, Theresa S. Mayer, Douglas H. Werner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The unique light-matter interaction in metamaterials, a type of artificial medium in which the geometrical features of subunits dominate their optical responses, have been utilized to achieve exotic material properties that are rare or nonexistent in natural materials. Furthermore, to extend their behaviors, active materials have been introduced into metamaterial systems to advance tunability, switchability and nonlinearity. Nevertheless, practical examples of versatile photonic metamaterials remain exceedingly rare for two main reasons. On the one hand, in sharp contrast to the broad material options available at lower frequencies, it is less common to find active media in the optical regime that can provide pronounced dielectric property changes under external stimuli, such as electric and magnetic fields. Vanadium dioxide (VO2), offering a large refractive index variation over a broad frequency range due to its near room temperature insulator-to-metal transition (IMT), has been favored in recent studies on tunable metamaterials. On the other hand, it turns out that regulating responses of hybrid metamaterials to external forces in an integrated manner is not a straightforward task. Recently, metamaterial-enabled devices (i.e., metadevices) with 'self-sufficient' or 'self-contained' electrical and optical properties have enabled complex functionalities. Here, we present a design methodology along with the associated experimental validation of a VO2 thin film integrated optical metamaterial absorber as a hybrid photonic platform for electrically driven multifunctional control, including reflectance switching, a rewritable memory process and manageable localized camouflage. The nanoengineered topologically continuous metal structure simultaneously supports the optical resonance and electrical functionality that actuates the phase transition in VO2 through the process of Joule heating. This work provides a universal approach to creating self-sufficient and highly-versatile nanophotonic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationActive Photonic Platforms IX
EditorsGanapathi S. Subramania, Stavroula Foteinopoulou
ISBN (Electronic)9781510611474
StatePublished - 2017
EventActive Photonic Platforms IX 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017Aug 10 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherActive Photonic Platforms IX 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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