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Tunable Surface Plasmon Infrared Modulator

Sandia National Laboratories

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PDF Document PublicationMarket Sheet (993 KB)

Technology Marketing SummaryThere is a need for improved active infrared optical elements such as modulators. Extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) through subwavelength apertures allows for tailored filtering based on plasmon resonance. Until now EOT devices have not fully achieved the need for variable attenuation capabilities.DescriptionSandia has developed an EOT device with a tunable surface plasmon resonance wavelength, where the controllability is derived from variation of the dielectric constant in the semiconducting material in contact with the grating.Benefits
  • Minaturizable
  • Tunable Control of Dielectric
  • Microfabricated
Applications and Industries
  • Infrared Modulator
  • IR Counter Measures
  • Photonic Circuitry
  • Metamaterials
  • Chemical Sensing
  • Variable Attenuation
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 8,009,356
Tunable surface plasmon devices
A tunable extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) device wherein the tunability derives from controlled variation of the dielectric constant of a semiconducting material (semiconductor) in evanescent-field contact with a metallic array of sub-wavelength apertures. The surface plasmon resonance wavelength can be changed by changing the dielectric constant of the dielectric material. In embodiments of this invention, the dielectric material is a semiconducting material. The dielectric constant of the semiconducting material in the metal/semiconductor interfacial region is controllably adjusted by adjusting one or more of the semiconductor plasma frequency, the concentration and effective mass of free carriers, and the background high-frequency dielectric constant in the interfacial region. Thermal heating and/or voltage-gated carrier-concentration changes may be used to variably adjust the value of the semiconductor dielectric constant.
Sandia National Laboratories 08/30/2011
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
SD #10692Prototype - Sandia estimates this technology at approximately a TRL 5.Available - Various License and partnering options are available. Please contact the Intellectual Property department to discuss. 12/01/201103/19/2013

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