Nonlinear photonic metasurfaces

Guixin Li, Shuang Zhang, Thomas Zentgraf

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301 Citations (Scopus)
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Compared with conventional optical elements, 2D photonic metasurfaces, consisting of arrays of antennas with subwavelength thickness (the ‘meta-atoms’), enable the manipulation of light–matter interactions on more compact platforms. The use of metasurfaces with spatially varying arrangements of meta-atoms that have subwavelength lateral resolution allows control of the polarization, phase and amplitude of light. Many exotic phenomena have been successfully demonstrated in linear optics; however, to meet the growing demand for the integration of more functionalities into a single optoelectronic circuit, the tailorable nonlinear optical properties of metasurfaces will also need to be exploited. In this Review, we discuss the design of nonlinear photonic metasurfaces — in particular, the criteria for choosing the materials and symmetries of the meta-atoms — for the realization of nonlinear optical chirality, nonlinear geometric Berry phase and nonlinear wavefront engineering. Finally, we survey the application of nonlinear photonic metasurfaces in optical switching and modulation, and we conclude with an outlook on their use for terahertz nonlinear optics and quantum information processing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17010
JournalNature Reviews Materials
Issue number5
Early online date21 Mar 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Mar 2017


  • metamaterials
  • nanophotonics and plasmonics
  • nonlinear optics
  • surface patterning
  • surfaces, interfaces and thin films


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