Nanomechanical electro-optical modulator based on atomic heterostructures

P. A. Thomas, O. P. Marshall, F. J. Rodriguez, G. H. Auton, V. G. Kravets, D. Kundys, Y. Su, A. N. Grigorenko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Two-dimensional atomic heterostructures combined with metallic nanostructures allow one to realize strong light-matter interactions. Metallic nanostructures possess plasmonic resonances that can be modulated by graphene gating. In particular, spectrally narrow plasmon resonances potentially allow for very high graphene-enabled modulation depth. However, the modulation depths achieved with this approach have so far been low and the modulation wavelength range limited. Here we demonstrate a device in which a graphene/hexagonal boron nitride heterostructure is suspended over a gold nanostripe array. A gate voltage across these devices alters the location of the two-dimensional crystals, creating strong optical modulation of its reflection spectra at multiple wavelengths: in ultraviolet Fabry-Perot resonances, in visible and near-infrared diffraction-coupled plasmonic resonances and in the mid-infrared range of hexagonal boron nitride's upper Reststrahlen band. Devices can be extremely subwavelength in thickness and exhibit compact and truly broadband modulation of optical signals using heterostructures of two-dimensional materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13590
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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