Intensity-dependent modulation of optically active signals in a chiral metamaterial. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chiral media exhibit optical phenomena that provide distinctive responses from opposite circular polarizations. The disparity between these responses can be optimized by structurally engineering absorptive materials into chiral nanopatterns to form metamaterials that provide gigantic chiroptical resonances. To fully leverage the innate duality of chiral metamaterials for future optical technologies, it is essential to make such chiroptical responses tunable via external means. Here we report an optical metamaterial with tailored chiroptical effects in the nonlinear regime, which exhibits a pronounced shift in its circular dichroism spectrum under a modest level of excitation power. Strong nonlinear optical rotation is observed at key spectral locations, with an intensity-induced change of 14 in the polarization rotation from a metamaterial thickness of less than /7. The modulation of chiroptical responses by manipulation of input powers incident on chiral metamaterials offers potential for active optics such as all-optical switching and light modulation.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 77

author list (cited authors)

  • Rodrigues, S. P., Lan, S., Kang, L., Cui, Y., Panuski, P. W., Wang, S., Urbas, A. M., & Cai, W.

citation count

  • 60

complete list of authors

  • Rodrigues, Sean P||Lan, Shoufeng||Kang, Lei||Cui, Yonghao||Panuski, Patrick W||Wang, Shengxiang||Urbas, Augustine M||Cai, Wenshan

publication date

  • January 2017