Giant intrinsic chiro-optical activity in planar dielectric nanostructures

Alexander Y Zhu, Wei Ting Chen, Aun Zaidi, Yao-Wei Huang, Mohammadreza Khorasaninejad, Vyshakh Sanjeev, Cheng-Wei Qiu, Federico Capasso

Abstract:The strong optical chirality arising from certain synthetic metamaterials has important and widespread applications in polarization optics, stereochemistry and spintronics. However, these intrinsically chiral metamaterials are restricted to a complicated three-dimensional (3D) geometry, which leads to significant fabrication challenges, particularly at visible wavelengths. Their planar two-dimensional (2D) counterparts are limited by symmetry considerations to operation at oblique angles (extrinsic chirality) and possess significantly weaker chiro-optical responses close to normal incidence. Here, we address the challenge of realizing strong intrinsic chirality from thin, planar dielectric nanostructures. Most notably, we experimentally achieve near-unity circular dichroism with ~90% of the light with the chosen helicity being transmitted at a wavelength of 540 nm. This is the highest value demonstrated to date for any geometry in the visible spectrum. We interpret this result within the charge-current multipole expansion framework and show that the excitation of higher-order multipoles is responsible for the giant circular dichroism. These experimental results enable the realization of high-performance miniaturized chiro-optical components in a scalable manner at optical frequencies.

Near-UV electroluminescence in unipolar-doped, bipolar-tunneling GaN/AlN heterostructures

Tyler A Growden, Weidong Zhang, Elliott R Brown, David F Storm, David J Meyer, Paul R Berger

Abstract:Cross-gap light emission is reported in n-type unipolar GaN/AlN double-barrier heterostructure diodes at room temperature. Three different designs were grown on semi-insulating bulk GaN substrates using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). All samples displayed a single electroluminescent spectral peak at 360 nm with full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) values no greater than 16 nm and an external quantum efficiency (EQE) of ≈0.0074% at 18.8 mA. In contrast to traditional GaN light emitters, p-type doping and p-contacts are completely avoided, and instead, holes are created in the GaN on the emitter side of the tunneling structure by direct interband (that is, Zener) tunneling from the valence band to the conduction band on the collector side. The Zener tunneling is enhanced by the high electric fields (~5 × 106 V cm−1) created by the notably large polarization-induced sheet charge at the interfaces between the AlN and GaN.

Spiniform phase-encoded metagratings entangling arbitrary rational-order orbital angular momentum

Kun Huang, Hong Liu, Sara Restuccia, Muhammad Q Mehmood, Sheng-Tao Mei, Daniel Giovannini, Aaron Danner, Miles J Padgett, Jing-Hua Teng, Cheng-Wei Qiu

Abstract:Quantum entanglements between integer-order and fractional-order orbital angular momentums (OAMs) have been previously discussed. However, the entangled nature of arbitrary rational-order OAM has long been considered a myth due to the absence of an effective strategy for generating arbitrary rational-order OAM beams. Therefore, we report a single metadevice comprising a bilaterally symmetric grating with an aperture, creating optical beams with dynamically controllable OAM values that are continuously varying over a rational range. Due to its encoded spiniform phase, this novel metagrating enables the production of an average OAM that can be increased without a theoretical limit by embracing distributed singularities, which differs significantly from the classic method of stacking phase singularities using fork gratings. This new method makes it possible to probe the unexplored niche of quantum entanglement between arbitrarily defined OAMs in light, which could lead to the complex manipulation of microparticles, high-dimensional quantum entanglement and optical communication. We show that quantum coincidence based on rational-order OAM-superposition states could give rise to low cross-talks between two different states that have no significant overlap in their spiral spectra. Additionally, future applications in quantum communication and optical micromanipulation may be found.

Direct fiber vector eigenmode multiplexing transmission seeded by integrated optical vortex emitters

Jun Liu, Shi-Mao Li, Long Zhu, An-Dong Wang, Shi Chen, Charalambos Klitis, Cheng Du, Qi Mo, Marc Sorel, Si-Yuan Yu, Xin-Lun Cai, Jian Wang

Abstract:Spatial modes have received substantial attention over the last decades and are used in optical communication applications. In fiber-optic communications, the employed linearly polarized modes and phase vortex modes carrying orbital angular momentum can be synthesized by fiber vector eigenmodes. To improve the transmission capacity and miniaturize the communication system, straightforward fiber vector eigenmode multiplexing and generation of fiber-eigenmode-like polarization vortices (vector vortex modes) using photonic integrated devices are of substantial interest. Here, we propose and demonstrate direct fiber vector eigenmode multiplexing transmission seeded by integrated optical vortex emitters. By exploiting vector vortex modes (radially and azimuthally polarized beams) generated from silicon microring resonators etched with angular gratings, we report data-carrying fiber vector eigenmode multiplexing transmission through a 2-km large-core fiber, showing low-level mode crosstalk and favorable link performance. These demonstrations may open up added capacity scaling opportunities by directly accessing multiple vector eigenmodes in the fiber and provide compact solutions to replace bulky diffractive optical elements for generating various optical vector beams.

Near-infrared and mid-infrared semiconductor broadband light emitters

Chun-Cai Hou, Hong-Mei Chen, Jin-Chuan Zhang, Ning Zhuo, Yuan-Qing Huang, Richard A Hogg, David TD Childs, Ji-Qiang Ning, Zhan-Guo Wang, Feng-Qi Liu, Zi-Yang Zhang

Abstract:Semiconductor broadband light emitters have emerged as ideal and vital light sources for a range of biomedical sensing/imaging applications, especially for optical coherence tomography systems. Although near-infrared broadband light emitters have found increasingly wide utilization in these imaging applications, the requirement to simultaneously achieve both a high spectral bandwidth and output power is still challenging for such devices. Owing to the relatively weak amplified spontaneous emission, as a consequence of the very short non-radiative carrier lifetime of the inter-subband transitions in quantum cascade structures, it is even more challenging to obtain desirable mid-infrared broadband light emitters. There have been great efforts in the past 20 years to pursue high-efficiency broadband optical gain and very low reflectivity in waveguide structures, which are two key factors determining the performance of broadband light emitters. Here we describe the realization of a high continuous wave light power of >20 mW and broadband width of >130 nm with near-infrared broadband light emitters and the first mid-infrared broadband light emitters operating under continuous wave mode at room temperature by employing a modulation p-doped InGaAs/GaAs quantum dot active region with a ‘J’-shape ridge waveguide structure and a quantum cascade active region with a dual-end analogous monolithic integrated tapered waveguide structure, respectively. This work is of great importance to improve the performance of existing near-infrared optical coherence tomography systems and describes a major advance toward reliable and cost-effective mid-infrared imaging and sensing systems, which do not presently exist due to the lack of appropriate low-coherence mid-infrared semiconductor broadband light sources.

Quantum enhancement of accuracy and precision in optical interferometry

Florian Kaiser, Panagiotis Vergyris, Djeylan Aktas, Charles Babin, Laurent Labonté, Sébastien Tanzilli

Abstract:White-light interferometry is one of today’s most precise tools for determining the properties of optical materials. Its achievable precision and accuracy are typically limited by systematic errors due to a high number of interdependent data-fitting parameters. Here, we introduce spectrally resolved quantum white-light interferometry as a novel tool for optical property measurements, notably, chromatic dispersion in optical fibres. By exploiting both spectral and photon-number correlations of energy-time entangled photon pairs, the number of fitting parameters is significantly reduced, which eliminates systematic errors and leads to an absolute determination of the material parameter. By comparing the quantum method to state-of-the-art approaches, we demonstrate the quantum advantage of 2.4 times better measurement precision, despite requiring 62 times fewer photons. The improved results are due to conceptual advantages enabled by quantum optics, which are likely to define new standards in experimental methods for characterising optical materials.

X-ray focusing with efficient high-NA multilayer Laue lenses

Saša Bajt, Mauro Prasciolu, Holger Fleckenstein, Martin Domaracký, Henry N Chapman, Andrew J Morgan, Oleksandr Yefanov, Marc Messerschmidt, Yang Du, Kevin T Murray, Valerio Mariani, Manuela Kuhn, Steven Aplin, Kanupriya Pande, Pablo Villanueva-Perez, Karolina Stachnik, Joe PJ Chen, Andrzej Andrejczuk, Alke Meents, Anja Burkhardt, David Pennicard, Xiaojing Huang, Hanfei Yan, Evgeny Nazaretski, Yong S Chu, Christian E Hamm

Abstract:Multilayer Laue lenses are volume diffraction elements for the efficient focusing of X-rays. With a new manufacturing technique that we introduced, it is possible to fabricate lenses of sufficiently high numerical aperture (NA) to achieve focal spot sizes below 10 nm. The alternating layers of the materials that form the lens must span a broad range of thicknesses on the nanometer scale to achieve the necessary range of X-ray deflection angles required to achieve a high NA. This poses a challenge to both the accuracy of the deposition process and the control of the materials properties, which often vary with layer thickness. We introduced a new pair of materials—tungsten carbide and silicon carbide—to prepare layered structures with smooth and sharp interfaces and with no material phase transitions that hampered the manufacture of previous lenses. Using a pair of multilayer Laue lenses (MLLs) fabricated from this system, we achieved a two-dimensional focus of 8.4 × 6.8 nm2 at a photon energy of 16.3 keV with high diffraction efficiency and demonstrated scanning-based imaging of samples with a resolution well below 10 nm. The high NA also allowed projection holographic imaging with strong phase contrast over a large range of magnifications. An error analysis indicates the possibility of achieving 1 nm focusing.

Ultra-fast polymer optical fibre Bragg grating inscription for medical devices

Julien Bonefacino, Hwa-Yaw Tam, Tom S Glen, Xin Cheng, Chi-Fung Jeff Pun, Jian Wang, Po-Heng Lee, Ming-Leung Vincent Tse, Steven T Boles

Abstract:We report the extraordinary result of rapid fibre Bragg grating inscription in doped polymer optical fibres based on polymethyl methacrylate in only 7 ms, which is two orders of magnitude faster than the inscription times previously reported. This was achieved using a new dopant material, diphenyl disulphide, which was found to enable a fast, positive refractive index change using a low ultraviolet dose. These changes were investigated and found to arise from photodissociation of the diphenyl disulphide molecule and subsequent molecular reorganization. We demonstrate that gratings inscribed in these fibres can exhibit at least a 15 times higher sensitivity than silica glass fibre, despite their quick inscription times. As a demonstration of the sensitivity, we selected a highly stringent situation, namely, the monitoring of a human heartbeat and respiratory functions. These findings could permit the inscription of fibre Bragg gratings during the fibre drawing process for mass production, allowing cost-effective, single-use, in vivo sensors among other potential uses.

All-optical dynamic focusing of light via coherent absorption in a plasmonic metasurface

Maria Papaioannou, Eric Plum, Edward TF Rogers, Nikolay I Zheludev

Abstract:Vision, microscopy, imaging, optical data projection and storage all depend on focusing of light. Dynamic focusing is conventionally achieved with mechanically reconfigurable lenses, spatial light modulators or microfluidics. Here we demonstrate that dynamic control of focusing can be achieved through coherent interaction of optical waves on a thin beam splitter. We use a nanostructured plasmonic metasurface of subwavelength thickness as the beam splitter, allowing operation in the regimes of coherent absorption and coherent transparency. Focusing of light resulting from illumination of the plasmonic metasurface with a Fresnel zone pattern is controlled by another patterned beam projected on the same metasurface. By altering the control pattern, its phase, or its intensity, we switch the lens function on and off, and alter the focal spot’s depth, diameter and intensity. Switching occurs as fast as the control beam is modulated and therefore tens of gigahertz modulation bandwidth is possible with electro-optical modulators, which is orders of magnitude faster than conventional dynamic focusing technologies.

Boron nitride nanoresonators for phonon-enhanced molecular vibrational spectroscopy at the strong coupling limit

Marta Autore, Peining Li, Irene Dolado, Francisco J Alfaro-Mozaz, Ruben Esteban, Ainhoa Atxabal, Fèlix Casanova, Luis E Hueso, Pablo Alonso-González, Javier Aizpurua, Alexey Y Nikitin, Saül Vélez, Rainer Hillenbrand

Abstract:Enhanced light-matter interactions are the basis of surface-enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA) spectroscopy, and conventionally rely on plasmonic materials and their capability to focus light to nanoscale spot sizes. Phonon polariton nanoresonators made of polar crystals could represent an interesting alternative, since they exhibit large quality factors, which go far beyond those of their plasmonic counterparts. The recent emergence of van der Waals crystals enables the fabrication of high-quality nanophotonic resonators based on phonon polaritons, as reported for the prototypical infrared-phononic material hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN). In this work we use, for the first time, phonon-polariton-resonant h-BN ribbons for SEIRA spectroscopy of small amounts of organic molecules in Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Strikingly, the interaction between phonon polaritons and molecular vibrations reaches experimentally the onset of the strong coupling regime, while numerical simulations predict that vibrational strong coupling can be fully achieved. Phonon polariton nanoresonators thus could become a viable platform for sensing, local control of chemical reactivity and infrared quantum cavity optics experiments.

Ultraviolet laser photolysis of hydrocarbons for nondiamond carbon suppression in chemical vapor deposition of diamond films

Li-Sha Fan, Loic Constantin, Da-wei Li, Lei Liu, Kamran Keramatnejad, Clio Azina, Xi Huang, Hossein Rabiee Golgir, Yao Lu, Zahra Ahmadi, Fei Wang, Jeffrey Shield, Bai Cui, Jean-Francois Silvain, Yong-Feng Lu

Abstract:In this work, we demonstrate that ultraviolet (UV) laser photolysis of hydrocarbon species alters the flame chemistry such that it promotes the diamond growth rate and film quality. Optical emission spectroscopy and laser-induced fluorescence demonstrate that direct UV laser irradiation of a diamond-forming combustion flame produces a large amount of reactive species that play critical roles in diamond growth, thereby leading to enhanced diamond growth. The diamond growth rate is more than doubled, and diamond quality is improved by 4.2%. Investigation of the diamond nucleation process suggests that the diamond nucleation time is significantly shortened and nondiamond carbon accumulation is greatly suppressed with UV laser irradiation of the combustion flame in a laser-parallel-to-substrate geometry. A narrow amorphous carbon transition zone, averaging 4 nm in thickness, is identified at the film–substrate interface area using transmission electron microscopy, confirming the suppression effect of UV laser irradiation on nondiamond carbon formation. The discovery of the advantages of UV photochemistry in diamond growth is of great significance for vastly improving the synthesis of a broad range of technically important materials.

New design for highly durable infrared-reflective coatings

Chaoquan Hu, Jian Liu, Jianbo Wang, Zhiqing Gu, Chao Li, Qian Li, Yuankai Li, Sam Zhang, Chaobin Bi, Xiaofeng Fan, Weitao Zheng

Abstract:The fundamental challenge in designing durable infrared-reflective coatings is achieving the ideal combination of both high reflectivity and durability. Satisfying these competing demands is traditionally achieved by deposition of durable layers on highly reflective metals. We overturn the traditional logic of ‘first reflectivity and then durability’ and propose an alternative of ‘first durability and then reflectivity’: First, a transition-metal compound is selected as a durable base; then its reflectivity is improved by incorporating silver/gold to form an alloy or by overcoating a multilayer stack. Two validation experiments prove that the new strategy works extremely well: the coatings thus obtained have infrared reflectivities close to that of aluminum, and their hardness and acid and salt corrosion resistances are 27–50, 400–1 500 and 7 500–25 000 times that of aluminum. The traditional mirror coating (e.g., Al/SiO2 films) is more suitable for moderate environments, while our mirror coating that was obtained by the new strategy (e.g., an Ag-doped hafnium nitride film) is more suitable for harsh environments, such as ones with dust, windblown sand, moisture, acid rain or salt fog. This work opens up new opportunities for highly durable infrared-reflective coatings and rejuvenates the study of transition metal compounds in a completely new area of optics.

Multispectral light scattering endoscopic imaging of esophageal precancer

Le Qiu, Ram Chuttani, Douglas K Pleskow, Vladimir Turzhitsky, Umar Khan, Yuri N Zakharov, Lei Zhang, Tyler M Berzin, Eric U Yee, Mandeep S Sawhney, Yunping Li, Edward Vitkin, Jeffrey D Goldsmith, Irving Itzkan, Lev T Perelman

Abstract:Esophageal adenocarcinoma is the most rapidly growing cancer in America. Although the prognosis after diagnosis is unfavorable, the chance of a successful outcome increases tremendously if detected early while the lesion is still dysplastic. Unfortunately, the present standard-of-care, endoscopic surveillance, has major limitations, since dysplasia is invisible, often focal, and systematic biopsies typically sample less than one percent of the esophageal lining and therefore easily miss malignancies. To solve this problem we developed a multispectral light scattering endoscopic imaging system. It surveys the entire esophageal lining and accurately detects subcellular dysplastic changes. The system combines light scattering spectroscopy, which detects and identifies invisible dysplastic sites by analyzing light scattered from epithelial cells, with rapid scanning of the entire esophageal lining using a collimated broadband light beam delivered by an endoscopically compatible fiber optic probe. Here we report the results of the first comprehensive multispectral imaging study, conducted as part of routine endoscopic procedures performed on patients with suspected dysplasia. In a double-blind study that characterized the system’s ability to serve as a screening tool, 55 out of 57 patients were diagnosed correctly. In addition, a smaller double-blind comparison of the multispectral data in 24 patients with subsequent pathology at locations where 411 biopsies were collected yielded an accuracy of 90% in detecting individual locations of dysplasia, demonstrating the capability of this method to serve as a guide for biopsy.

Bifunctional gap-plasmon metasurfaces for visible light: polarization-controlled unidirectional surface plasmon excitation and beam steering at normal incidence

Fei Ding, Rucha Deshpande, Sergey I Bozhevolnyi

Abstract:Integration of multiple diversified functionalities into a single, planar and ultra-compact device has become an emerging research area with fascinating possibilities for realization of very dense integration and miniaturization in photonics that requires addressing formidable challenges, particularly for operation in the visible range. Here we design, fabricate and experimentally demonstrate bifunctional gap-plasmon metasurfaces for visible light, allowing for simultaneous polarization-controlled unidirectional surface plasmon polariton (SPP) excitation and beam steering at normal incidence. The designed bifunctional metasurfaces, consisting of anisotropic gap-plasmon resonator arrays, produce two different linear phase gradients along the same direction for respective linear polarizations of incident light, resulting in distinctly different functionalities realized by the same metasurface. The proof-of-concept fabricated metasurfaces exhibit efficient (>25% on average) unidirectional (extinction ratio >20 dB) SPP excitation within the wavelength range of 600–650 nm when illuminated with normally incident light polarized in the direction of the phase gradient. At the same time, broadband (580–700 nm) beam steering (30.6°–37.9°) is realized when normally incident light is polarized perpendicularly to the phase gradient direction. The bifunctional metasurfaces developed in this study can enable advanced research and applications related to other distinct functionalities for photonics integration.