The integration of radiofrequency electronic methodologies on micro- as well as nanoscale platforms is crucial for information processing and data-storage technologies1,2,3. In electronics, radiofrequency signals are controlled and manipulated by ‘lumped’ circuit elements, such as resistors, inductors and capacitors. In earlier work4,5, we theoretically proposed that optical nanostructures, when properly designed and judiciously arranged, could behave as nanoscale lumped circuit elements—but at optical frequencies. Here, for the first time we experimentally demonstrate a two-dimensional optical nanocircuit at mid-infrared wavelengths. With the guidance of circuit theory, we design and fabricate arrays of Si3N4 nanorods with specific deep subwavelength cross-sections, quantitatively evaluate their equivalent impedance as lumped circuit elements in the mid-infrared regime, and by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy show that these nanostructures can indeed function as two-dimensional optical lumped circuit elements. We further show that the connections among nanocircuit elements, in particular whether they are in series or in parallel combination, can be controlled by the polarization of impinging optical signals, realizing the notion of ‘stereo-circuitry’ in metatronics—metamaterials-inspired optical circuitry.
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We thank the staff of the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility for their assistance and valuable advice. We also thank C. Murray for the opportunity to use the FTIR microscope in his laboratory and J. Grogen for discussion and interaction. This work is supported in part by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research under grant no FA9550-08-1-0220.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Sun, Y., Edwards, B., Alù, A. et al. Experimental realization of optical lumped nanocircuits at infrared wavelengths. Nature Mater 11, 208–212 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat3230
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