The goal of this project is to address the challenge for the design and fabrication of tunable plasmonic devices through the electrical tuning of refractive index in holographicallyformed polymer dispersed liquid-crystals (H-PDLCs). Both tunable plasmonic nano-antennas and reconfigurable surface plasmon polariton (SPP) devices will be investigated using transformation optics and cellular liquid crystals. The resulting tunable plasmonic devices will feature fast tuning speed and flexible function for practical applications. Intellectual Merit: The proposed tunable plasmonic devices rely on the H-PDLCs, which feature electrical tuning capability and can be fabricated by the nano-fabrication technique. This is in contrast to the conventional plasmonic devices that are usually non-tunable, which has limited their applications in optical systems. Moreover, the proposed uniform and gradient index H-PDLCs provide us with large flexibility in designing different tuning structures. Combining these structures with device design techniques will lead to many new tunable plasmonic devices. Broader Impact: The successful design and fabrication of proposed H-PDLC based tunable plasmonic devices will have a large impact on future optical systems for uses in both civilian and military sectors. Especially, they will find applications in the areas of sensing, imaging, energy harvesting, and communication systems. Other areas of impact include the following: (1) enhancement of optical devices research and education experiences for student researchers; (2) increased participation of high school students, and underrepresented groups in science and technology; (3) rapid dissemination of research results through workshops, seminars, and publications.

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University of North Texas
United States
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