Thermally reconfigurable metalens

Nanophotonics. 2022 May 30;11(17):3969-3980. doi: 10.1515/nanoph-2022-0147. eCollection 2022 Sep 2.


Reconfigurable metalenses are compact optical components composed by arrays of meta-atoms that offer unique opportunities for advanced optical systems, from microscopy to augmented reality platforms. Although poorly explored in the context of reconfigurable metalenses, thermo-optical effects in resonant silicon nanoresonators have recently emerged as a viable strategy to realize tunable meta-atoms. In this work, we report the proof-of-concept design of an ultrathin (300 nm thick) and thermo-optically reconfigurable silicon metalens operating at a fixed, visible wavelength (632 nm). Importantly, we demonstrate continuous, linear modulation of the focal-length up to 21% (from 165 μm at 20 °C to 135 μm at 260 °C). Operating under right-circularly polarized light, our metalens exhibits an average conversion efficiency of 26%, close to mechanically modulated devices, and has a diffraction-limited performance. Overall, we envision that, combined with machine-learning algorithms for further optimization of the meta-atoms, thermally reconfigurable metalenses with improved performance will be possible. Also, the generality of this approach could offer inspiration for the realization of active metasurfaces with other emerging materials within field of thermo-nanophotonics.

Keywords: dielectric nanoresonators; metasurfaces; thermo-optical effects; tunable metalenses.