Infrared beam-steering using acoustically modulated surface plasmons over a graphene monolayer

We model and design a graphene-based infrared beamformer based on the concept of leaky-wave (fast traveling wave) antennas. The excitation of infrared surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) over a 'one-atom-thick' graphene monolayer is typically associated with intrinsically 'slow light'. By modulating the graphene with elastic vibrations based on flexural waves, a dynamic diffraction grating can be formed on the graphene surface, converting propagating SPPs into fast surface waves, able to radiate directive infrared beams into the background medium. This scheme allows fast on-off switching of infrared emission and dynamic tuning of its radiation pattern, beam angle and frequency of operation, by simply varying the acoustic frequency that controls the effective grating period. We envision that this graphene beamformer may be integrated into reconfigurable transmitter/receiver modules, switches and detectors for THz and infrared wireless communication, sensing, imaging and actuation systems.

Chen, P.-Y., Farhat, M., Askarpour, A. N., Tymchenko, M., & Alù, A. (2014). Infrared beam-steering using acoustically modulated surface plasmons over a graphene monolayer. Journal of Optics, 16(9), 094008. doi:10.1088/2040-8978/16/9/094008

The authors would like to thank Dr Sebastien Guenneau for fruitful discussions on graphene acoustics. This work has been partially supported by the Welch Foundation with grant no. F-1662, the Army Research Office with grant no. W911NF-08-1-0348 and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research with grant no. FA9550-13-1-0204.

IOP Publishing

Journal of Optics


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