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Broadband graphene polarizer


Conventional polarizers can be classified into three main modes of operation: sheet polarizer using anisotropic absorption media, prism polarizer by refraction and Brewster-angle polarizer by reflection1. These polarizing components are not easily integrated with photonic circuits. The in-line fibre polarizer, which relies on polarization-selective coupling between the evanescent field and birefringent crystal2 or metal3,4,5,6,7, is a promising alternative because of its compatibility with most fibre-optic systems. Here, we demonstrate the operation of a broadband fibre polarizer based on graphene, an ultrathin two-dimensional carbon material. The out-coupled light in the telecommunication band shows a strong s-polarization effect with an extinction ratio of 27 dB. Unlike polarizers made from thin metal film, a graphene polarizer can support transverse-electric-mode surface wave propagation due to its linear dispersion of Dirac electrons.

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Figure 1: Fibre-to-graphene coupler and optical polarization.
Figure 2: Broadband polarizing effect of graphene.
Figure 3: Numerical model.
Figure 4: Numerical calculation of electromagnetic modes in graphene.


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This work was supported by an NRF-CRP grant (‘Graphene Related Materials and Devices’, R-143-000-360-281). The authors thank R.J. Knize (United States Air Force Academy) for helpful discussions, B. Yan, T. Yu and Z.X. Shen (SPMS, NTU) for assistance with measurements at visible wavelengths, and X. Wu, L.M. Zhao and B. Lin (EEE, NTU) for assistance with measurements at near-infrared wavelengths. H.Z. acknowledges financial support from the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP) programme (grant no. IAP-6/10) and experiment facility support from OPERA-photonique (Université libre de Bruxelles). The authors thank P. Kockaert, P. Emplit and M. Haelterman (Université libre de Bruxelles) for discussion and critical reading of this manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations



K.P.L. supervised the project. K.P.L. and Q.B. planned the project. Q.B. and H.Z. conceived the original concept and performed most of the experiments. B.W. and Q.B. contributed to the numerical calculations. Z.N. contributed to measurements in the visible range. H.Z. and D.Y.T. contributed to the experiments in the NIR range. C.H.Y.X.L. and Y.W. contributed to graphene synthesis. K.P.L. and Q.B. analysed the data and co-wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Kian Ping Loh.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Bao, Q., Zhang, H., Wang, B. et al. Broadband graphene polarizer. Nature Photon 5, 411–415 (2011).

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