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Proceedings Paper

Polarization control and sensing with metasurfaces (Conference Presentation)

Paper Abstract

Metasurfaces, nanophotonic arrays of phase shifting elements, hold promise for the miniaturization of a variety of bulk optical elements, most notably lenses and imaging systems. Owing to the flexibility with which their constituent elements may be engineered, metasurfaces allow for point-to-point polarization control on a subwavelength scale. For this reason, metasurfaces represent an exciting new platform for polarization optics as well. I will discuss how this functionality allows for a new perspective on diffractive optics which explicitly acknowledges the vectorial nature of light. This perspective motivates a theory of unitary polarization gratings; I will derive a few key results concerning these gratings. I will discuss and demonstrate how this perspective allows for the design of metasurfaces with new polarization functionalities. I will describe how, through relatively simple optimization methods, a metasurface producing arbitrarily specified polarization states can be designed. This functionality is equivalent to a traditional diffraction grating with individual waveplate optics on each order; here, all the necessary polarization optics can be integrated into a flat, ultrathin optical element. Moreover, such a metasurface can be used in a reverse configuration as a parallel snapshot polarimeter with no need for additional polarization optics. I present a detailed experimental characterization of this device in the visible spectral region and a comparison of the performance of the metasurface to a commercially available rotating waveplate polarimeter. Finally, I will discuss the extension of these concepts to compact polarization imaging systems and will provide a broad outlook on metasurfaces in polarization optics, polarization sensing systems, and polarization instrumentation more generally.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2019
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Proc. SPIE 10980, Image Sensing Technologies: Materials, Devices, Systems, and Applications VI, 109800B (14 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2517042
Show Author Affiliations
Noah A. Rubin, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
Gabriele D'Aversa, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
Wei Ting Chen, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
Zhujun Shi, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
Federico Capasso, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10980:
Image Sensing Technologies: Materials, Devices, Systems, and Applications VI
Nibir K. Dhar; Achyut K. Dutta; Sachidananda R. Babu, Editor(s)

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