Anisotropic Quantum Well Electro-Optics in Few-Layer Black Phosphorus

Michelle C. Sherrott, William S. Whitney, Deep Jariwala, Souvik iswas, Cora Went, Joeson Wong, George R. Rossman, Harry A. Atwater
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA  91125-2500


The incorporation of electrically tunable materials into photonic structures such as waveguides and metasurfaces enables dynamic control of light propagation by an applied potential. While many materials have been shown to exhibit electrically tunable permittivity and dispersion, including transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) and III-V semiconductors and quantum wells, these materials are all optically isotropic in the propagation plane.   In this work, we report the first known example of electrically-tunable linear dichroism, observed here in few-layer black phosphorus (BP), which is a promising candidate for multi-functional, broadband, tunable photonic elements. We measure active modulation of the linear dichroism from the mid-infrared to visible frequency range, which is driven by anisotropic quantum-confined Stark and Burstein-Moss effects, and field-induced forbidden-to-allowed optical transitions.  Moreover, we observe high BP absorption modulation strengths, approaching unity for certain thicknesses and photon energies.