THz bandwidth optical switching with carbon nanotube metamaterial

Andrey E. Nikolaenko*, Nikitas Papasimakis, Arkadi Chipouline, Francesco De Angelis, Enzo Di Fabrizio, Nikolay I. Zheludev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


We provide the first demonstration of exceptional light-withlight optical switching performance of a carbon nanotube metamaterial - a hybrid nanostructure of a plasmonic metamaterial with semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes. A modulation depth of 10% in the near-IR with sub-500 fs response time is achieved with a pump fluence of just 10 íJ/cm2, which is an order of magnitude lower than in previously reported artificial nanostructures. The improved switching characteristics of the carbon nanotube metamaterial are defined by an excitonic nonlinearity of carbon nanotubes resonantly enhanced by a concentration of local fields in the metamaterial. Since the spectral position of the excitonic response and metamaterial plasmonic resonance can be adjusted by using carbon nanotubes of different diameter and scaling of the metamaterial design, the giant nonlinear response of the hybrid metamaterial - in principle - can be engineered to cover the entire second and third telecom windows, from Oto U-band.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6068-6079
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 12 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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