Due to the scarcity of circular polarization light sources, linear-to-circular polarization conversion is required to generate circularly polarized light for a variety of applications. Despite significant past efforts, broadband linear-to-circular polarization conversion remains elusive particularly in the terahertz and midinfrared frequency ranges. Here we propose a novel mechanism based on coupled mode theory, and experimentally demonstrate at terahertz frequencies that highly efficient (power conversion efficiency approaching unity) and ultrabroadband (fractional bandwidth up to 80%) linear-to-circular polarization conversion can be accomplished by the judicious design of birefringent metasurfaces. The underlying mechanism operates in the frequency range between well separated resonances, and relies upon the phase response of these resonances away from the resonant frequencies, as well as the balance of the resonant and nonresonant channels. This mechanism is applicable for any operating frequencies from microwave to visible. The present Letter potentially opens a wide range of opportunities in wireless communications, spectroscopy, and emergent quantum materials research where circularly polarized light is desired.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy