Increased absorption of transverse-magnetic (TM)-polarised light by a graphene-oxide (GO) coated polymer waveguide has been observed in the presence of transverse-electric (TE)-polarised light. The GO-coated waveguide exhibits very strong photo-absorption of TE-polarised light-and acts as a TM-pass waveguide polariser. The absorbed TE-polarised light causes a significant temperature increase in the GO film and induces thermal reduction of the GO, resulting in an increase in opticalfrequency conductivity and consequently increased optical propagation loss. This behaviour in a GOcoated waveguide gives the action of an inverted optical switch/modulator. By varying the incident TE-polarised light power, a maximum modulation efficiency of 72% was measured, with application of an incident optical power level of 57 mW. The GO-coated waveguide was able to respond clearly to modulated TE-polarised light with a pulse duration of as little as 100 μs. In addition, no wavelength dependence was observed in the response of either the modulation (TE-polarised light) or the signal (TM-polarised light).
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