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Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 15;5:18106. doi: 10.1038/srep18106.

Realizing Broadband and Invertible Linear-to-circular Polarization Converter with Ultrathin Single-layer Metasurface.

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Laboratory of Weak Light Nonlinear Photonics, Ministry of Education, School of Physics and Teda Applied Physics Institute, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.


The arbitrary control of the polarization states of light has attracted the interest of the scientific community because of the wide range of modern optical applications that such control can afford. However, conventional polarization control setups are bulky and very often operate only within a narrow wavelength range, thereby resisting optical system miniaturization and integration. Here, we present the basic theory, simulated demonstration, and in-depth analysis of a high-performance broadband and invertible linear-to-circular (LTC) polarization converter composed of a single-layer gold nanorod array with a total thickness of ~λ/70 for the near-infrared regime. This setup can transform a circularly polarized wave into a linearly polarized one or a linearly polarized wave with a wavelength-dependent electric field polarization angle into a circularly polarized one in the transmission mode. The broadband and invertible LTC polarization conversion can be attributed to the tailoring of the light interference at the subwavelength scale via the induction of the anisotropic optical resonance mode. This ultrathin single-layer metasurface relaxes the high-precision requirements of the structure parameters in general metasurfaces while retaining the polarization conversion performance. Our findings open up intriguing possibilities towards the realization of novel integrated metasurface-based photonics devices for polarization manipulation, modulation, and phase retardation.

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