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Thermally-Switchable Metalenses Based on Quasi-Bound States in the Continuum

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posted on 2023-06-27, 16:00 authored by Stephanie C. Malek, Cheng-Chia Tsai, Nanfang Yu
Dynamic wavefront shaping with optical metasurfaces has presented a major challenge and inspired a large number of highly elaborate solutions. Here, we experimentally demonstrate thermo-optically reconfigurable, nonlocal metasurfaces using simple device architectures and conventional CMOS-compatible dielectric materials. These metasurfaces support quasi-bound states in the continuum (q-BICs) derived from symmetry breaking and encoded with a spatially varying geometric phase, such that they shape optical wavefront exclusively on spectrally narrowband resonances. Due to the enhanced light-matter interaction enabled by the resonant q-BICs, a slight variation of the refractive index introduced by heating and cooling the entire device leads to a substantial shift of the resonant wavelength and a subsequent change to the optical wavefront associated with the resonance. We experimentally demonstrate a metalens modulator, the focusing capability of which can be thermally turned on and off, and reconfigurable metalenses, which can be thermo-optically switched to produce two distinct focal patterns. Our devices offer a pathway to realize reconfigurable, multifunctional meta-optics using established manufacturing processes and widely available dielectric materials that are conventionally not considered "active" materials due to their small thermo-optic or electro-optic coefficients.



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