Adiabatic Frequency Conversion Using a Time-Varying Epsilon-Near-Zero Metasurface

Kai Pang*, M. Zahirul Alam, Yiyu Zhou, Cong Liu, Orad Reshef, Karapet Manukyan, Matt Voegtle, Anuj Pennathur, Cindy Tseng, Xinzhou Su, Hao Song, Zhe Zhao, Runzhou Zhang, Haoqian Song, Nanzhe Hu, Ahmed Almaiman, Jahan M. Dawlaty, Robert W. Boyd, Moshe Tur, Alan E. Willner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A time-dependent change in the refractive index of a material leads to a change in the frequency of an optical beam passing through that medium. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that this effect - known as adiabatic frequency conversion (AFC) - can be significantly enhanced by a nonlinear epsilon-near-zero-based (ENZ-based) plasmonic metasurface. Specifically, by using a 63-nm-thick metasurface, we demonstrate a large, tunable, and broadband frequency shift of up to μ11.2 THz with a pump intensity of 4 GW/cm2. Our results represent a decrease of μ10 times in device thickness and 120 times in pump peak intensity compared with the cases of bare, thicker ENZ materials for the similar amount of frequency shift. Our findings might potentially provide insights for designing efficient time-varying metasurfaces for the manipulation of ultrafast pulses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5907-5913
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - 28 Jul 2021


  • dynamic resonance
  • epsilon-near-zero metasurface
  • indium-tin oxide
  • nonlinear frequency shift
  • nonlinear optical materials
  • time-varying refractive index


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