Liu’s Optical Metasurfaces Research Published in Science

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MIE/ECE Associate professor Yongmin Liu’s research on “Breaking the limitation of polarization multiplexing in optical metasurfaces with engineered noise” was published in Science. The research details a new method of increasing the capacity of optical information systems (systems that use light to transmit data). Optical systems using this method could transmit data more efficiently and much faster than is currently possible. This new approach can be used to develop high-capacity optical displays, information encryption, and data storage.

Noise is usually undesired yet inevitable in science and engineering. However, by introducing the engineered noise to the precise solution of Jones matrix elements, we break the fundamental limit of polarization multiplexing capacity of metasurfaces that roots from the dimension constraints of the Jones matrix. We experimentally demonstrate up to 11 independent holographic images using a single metasurface illuminated by visible light with different polarizations. To the best of our knowledge, it is the highest capacity reported for polarization multiplexing. Combining the position multiplexing scheme, the metasurface can generate 36 distinct images, forming a holographic keyboard pattern. This discovery implies a new paradigm for high-capacity optical display, information encryption, and data storage.

This work was in collaboration with Professor Ruwen Peng and Professor Mu Wang at Nanjing University, China.

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering