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Nat Commun. 2012;3:1151. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2153.

Active control of electromagnetically induced transparency analogue in terahertz metamaterials.

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Center for Terahertz waves and College of Precision Instrument and Optoelectronics Engineering, Tianjin University, and Key Laboratory of Optoelectronics Information and Technology (Ministry of Education), Tianjin 300072, China.


Recently reported metamaterial analogues of electromagnetically induced transparency enable a unique route to endow classical optical structures with aspects of quantum optical systems. This method opens up many fascinating prospects on novel optical components, such as slow light units, highly sensitive sensors and nonlinear devices. In particular, optical control of electromagnetically induced transparency in metamaterials promises essential application opportunities in optical networks and terahertz communications. Here we present active optical control of metamaterial-induced transparency through active tuning of the dark mode. By integrating photoconductive silicon into the metamaterial unit cell, a giant switching of the transparency window occurs under excitation of ultrafast optical pulses, allowing for an optically tunable group delay of the terahertz light. This work opens up the possibility for designing novel chip-scale ultrafast devices that would find utility in optical buffering and terahertz active filtering.

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