A wavelength-tunable, depletion-type infrared metamaterial optical device is provided. The device includes a thin, highly doped epilayer whose electrical permittivity can become negative at some infrared wavelengths. This highly-doped buried layer optically couples with a metamaterial layer. Changes in the transmission spectrum of the device can be induced via the electrical control of this optical coupling. An embodiment includes a contact layer of semiconductor material that is sufficiently doped for operation as a contact layer and that is effectively transparent to an operating range of infrared wavelengths, a thin, highly doped buried layer of epitaxially grown semiconductor material that overlies the contact layer, and a metallized layer overlying the buried layer and patterned as a resonant metamaterial.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was developed under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 between Sandia Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.