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Title: Femtosecond optical polarization switching using a cadmium oxide-based perfect absorber

Ultrafast control of the polarization state of light may enable a plethora of applications in optics, chemistry and biology. However, conventional polarizing elements, such as polarizers and waveplates, are either static or possess only gigahertz switching speeds. Here, with the aid of high-mobility indium-doped cadmium oxide (CdO) as the gateway plasmonic material, we realize a high-quality factor Berreman-type perfect absorber at a wavelength of 2.08 μm. On sub-bandgap optical pumping, the perfect absorption resonance strongly redshifts because of the transient increase of the ensemble-averaged effective electron mass of CdO, which leads to an absolute change in the p-polarized reflectance from 1.0 to 86.3%. As a result, by combining the exceedingly high modulation depth with the polarization selectivity of the perfect absorber, we experimentally demonstrate a reflective polarizer with a polarization extinction ratio of 91 that can be switched on and off within 800 fs.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1749-4885; nphoton.2017.64
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Photonics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1749-4885
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; metamaterials; nanophotonics and plasmonics; ultrafast photonics
OSTI Identifier: