Photonic spin-controlled multifunctional shared-aperture antenna array

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Science  03 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6290, pp. 1202-1206
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf3417

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Multifunction planar optics

Specially designed two-dimensional (2D) arrays of nanometer-scale metallic antennas, or metasurfaces, may allow bulky optical components to be shrunk down to a planar device structure. Khorasaninejad et al. show that arrays of nanoscale fins of TiO can function as high-end optical lenses. At just a fraction of the size of optical objectives, such planar devices could turn your phone camera or your contact lens into a compound microscope. Maguid et al. interleaved sparse 2D arrays of metal antennas to get multifunctional behavior from the one planar device structure (see the Perspective by Litchinitser). The enhanced functionality of such designed metasurfaces could be used in sensing applications or to increase the communication capacity of nanophotonic networks.

Science, this issue pp. 1190 and 1202; see also p. 1177


The shared-aperture phased antenna array developed in the field of radar applications is a promising approach for increased functionality in photonics. The alliance between the shared-aperture concepts and the geometric phase phenomenon arising from spin-orbit interaction provides a route to implement photonic spin-control multifunctional metasurfaces. We adopted a thinning technique within the shared-aperture synthesis and investigated interleaved sparse nanoantenna matrices and the spin-enabled asymmetric harmonic response to achieve helicity-controlled multiple structured wavefronts such as vortex beams carrying orbital angular momentum. We used multiplexed geometric phase profiles to simultaneously measure spectrum characteristics and the polarization state of light, enabling integrated on-chip spectropolarimetric analysis. The shared-aperture metasurface platform opens a pathway to novel types of nanophotonic functionality.

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