Superheterodyne-inspired waveguide-integrated metasurfaces for flexible free-space light manipulation

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4499–4514
Journal / PublicationNanophotonics
Issue number20
Online published6 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022



Metasurfaces have attracted significant attention in recent years due to their unprecedented light-manipulation abilities. However, most metasurfaces so far have relied on external light excitation, prohibiting them from full on-chip integration. Inspired by the superheterodyne principle in radio communications, here we propose a new waveguide-integrated metasurface architecture capable of converting in-plane guided modes into any desired out-of-plane free-space modes. A theoretical model, verified by simulation and experiment, is developed to provide a deep understanding of the involved physical mechanism and facilitate innovative metasurface designs. The judicious design of baseband signals allows the silicon-based superheterodyne metasurfaces to achieve complex light manipulations, including arbitrary-direction beam deflection and focusing. The proposed superheterodyne metasurface is a marriage of radio communications and photonics. It provides a paradigm shift of metasurface designs and empowers integrated photonic devices with extraordinary free-space interactivity capability, enabling a broad spectrum of applications in communications, remoting sensing, and imaging.

Research Area(s)

  • guided wave, metasurface, photonics, radio communications, superheterodyne

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