Electronic modulation of infrared radiation in graphene plasmonic resonators

Nat Commun. 2015 May 7;6:7032. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8032.


All matter at finite temperatures emits electromagnetic radiation due to the thermally induced motion of particles and quasiparticles. Dynamic control of this radiation could enable the design of novel infrared sources; however, the spectral characteristics of the radiated power are dictated by the electromagnetic energy density and emissivity, which are ordinarily fixed properties of the material and temperature. Here we experimentally demonstrate tunable electronic control of blackbody emission from graphene plasmonic resonators on a silicon nitride substrate. It is shown that the graphene resonators produce antenna-coupled blackbody radiation, which manifests as narrow spectral emission peaks in the mid-infrared. By continuously varying the nanoresonator carrier density, the frequency and intensity of these spectral features can be modulated via an electrostatic gate. This work opens the door for future devices that may control blackbody radiation at timescales beyond the limits of conventional thermo-optic modulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.