Dynamic infrared thin-film absorbers with tunable absorption level based on VO2 phase transition

Zizhuo Liu, Berker Banar, Serkan Butun, Hasan Kocer, Kevin Wang, Jacob Scheuer, Junqiao Wu, Koray Aydin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phase change materials exhibit tunable electrical and optical response, providing rich potential to build active devices with tunable properties. Here, we propose and demonstrate a tunable infrared absorber based on vanadium dioxide (VO2) thin films. Compared with conventional absorbers relying on either nanostructures or Fabry-Perot cavities, our proposed device shows near perfect absorption while having a subwavelength thick absorbing film. Moreover, the absorption intensity can be controlled dynamically around the phase transition temperature of VO2. We model the optical response of the VO2 intermediate states with an effective medium theory to help fitting and understanding the phase change behavior during the phase transition. The calculated electric field distribution as well as the absorption maps are presented to show how the light is absorbed in the thin film platform. The proposed device has the potential for many applications including thin photodetectors, modulators and tunable emitters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2151-2158
Number of pages8
JournalOptical Materials Express
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018


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