Electro-optic modulator based on a metal-ferroelectric nanocomposite

Etai Rosenkrantz, Shlomi Arnon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present an innovative method for modulating light using a ferroelectric thin-film embedded with metal nanoparticles. Due to the electro-optic effect in ferroelectric PZT, changes in refractive index can be controlled by an external electric field. Consequently, the local surface plasmon resonance of embedded noble metal nanoparticles changes with the media's refractive index. As a result, their optical extinction cross-section is shifted and light passing through the film could be controlled. In other words, an external electric field could modulate light. Using Mie theory for spherical particles, we were able to approximate the metallic nanoparticle's diameter that generates the maximum optical contrast, at a given wavelength. In addition, to establish an accurate model, we considered the impact on plasmon resonance resulting from deformation of the nanoparticles. The deformation is caused by the piezoelectric property of the ferroelectric host material. We assumed 20 nm diameter Au or Ag nanoparticles embedded in a 1 μm thick PZT film. Simulations showed that these particles can reach an optical contrast of up to 12 dB, in the visible spectrum. In addition, deformation of particles had negligible impact on the shift in resonance frequency compared to the change in PZT refractive index. In this study we have shown that a nanocomposite comprising of nanoparticles embedded PZT thin film can perform as an optical modulator. This modulator will be able to achieve a high contrast with low power consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlasmonics
Subtitle of host publicationMetallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties XI
ISBN (Print)9780819496591
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013
EventPlasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties XI - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 25 Aug 201329 Aug 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferencePlasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • electro-optic
  • ferroelectric
  • local surface plasmon
  • modulation
  • nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Electro-optic modulator based on a metal-ferroelectric nanocomposite'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this