Nonlinear Chiral Meta-Mirrors: Enabling Technology for Ultrafast Switching of Light Polarization

Lei Kang, Cheng Yu Wang, Xuexue Guo, Xingjie Ni, Zhiwen Liu, Douglas H. Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Photonic nanostructures that realize ultrafast switching of light polarization are essential to advancements in the area of optical information processing. The unprecedented flexibility of metasurfaces in light manipulation makes them a promising candidate for active polarization control. However, due to the lack of optical materials exhibiting a fast as well as large refractive index change, photonic metadevices capable of ultrafast polarization switching remain elusive. Here, an ultrathin nonlinear chiral meta-mirror consisting of an array of amorphous silicon (α-Si) split-ring resonators on top of a silver backplane is demonstrated as a feasible platform for picosecond all-optical polarization switching of near-infrared light at picojoule-per-resonator pump energies. This success was made possible by the high-quality-factor resonances of the proposed meta-atoms that enable the mirror to exhibit strong chiro- A nd enantioselectivity. Experimental results confirm that our meta-mirrors can be used to facilitate high-speed and power-efficient polarization-state modulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2047-2055
Number of pages9
JournalNano letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 11 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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