News Release

Small bubbles bringing large switching: Polarization-switchable plasmonic emitters

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Compuscript Ltd


image: Figure 1. Switching the emission polarization of an ultra-small plasmonic emitter by using a control laser beam to induce a bubble (n=1.0) in water (n=1.333). view more 

Credit: OEA

A new publication from Opto-Electronic Advances; DOI 10.29026/oea.2022.200100 considers polarization-switchable plasmonic emitters.


Plasmonic antennas in analogy with the microwave and radio-wave antennas can manipulate light at nanometer scales, and they attracted enormous attentions in recent years. Various plasmonic antennas were designed to tailor emission directions and emission polarization states. However, it is difficult to dynamically tune and switch emission polarization states of plasmonic antennas (or emitters) at nanometer scales owing to weak light-matter interactions in natural materials. By now, polarization-switchable plasmonic antennas (or emitters) have not been reported.


The authors of this article propose using a control laser beam to induce a bubble (n=1.0) in water (n=1.333), which is similar to boiling water in a kettle with fire, to obtain a large index variation as high as |Δn|=0.333, and the emission polarization of an ultra-small plasmonic emitter (~0.4λ2) was dynamically switched for the first time, as shown in Figure 1. The plasmonic emitter consisted of two orthogonal subwavelength metallic nanogroove antennas on a metal surface, and the separation of the two antennas is only sx=120 nm. Because of a large refractive index variation (|Δn|=0.333), the phase difference (φ) between the emission light from the two antennas was greatly changed when a microbubble emerged in water under a low-intensity control laser. As a result, the emission polarization of the ultra-small plasmonic emitter was dynamically switched from an elliptical polarization state to a linear polarization state, and the change of the degree of linear polarization is as high as Δγ≈ 0.66. This ultra-small polarization-switchable plasmonic emitter might increase flexibilities and communication capacities in inter-chip optical communications and quantum communications.

Article reference: Chen JJ, Gan FY. Polarization-switchable plasmonic emitters based on laser-induced bubbles. Opto-Electron Adv 5, 200100 (2022). doi: 10.29026/oea.2022.200100 

Keywords: plasmonic emitters / nanometer scales / polarization manipulation / dynamical switching / bubbles

# # # # # #


The research group of Prof. Jianjun Chen from Beijing Normal University mainly focuses on the integrated nanophotonics both in theory and experiment. He joined in Institute of Modern Optics at Peking University as a “Talent-100” Assistant Professor in August 2013. He joined in Department of Physics at Beijing Normal University as a full professor in in June 2020. Prof. Jianjun Chen investigates the light generation, propagation, and manipulation in the hybrid metallic-dielectric nano-structures together with the hybrid integration of nanophotonic devices, and many innovative achievements are obtained. He has published more than 80 articles in well recognized journals, such as Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Nano Letters, Laser & Photonics Reviews, and Advanced Optical Materials. Eight articles were featured on the Cover. The citation times are greater than 2000, and the h-index is 22. Prof. Jianjun Chen has won eight major external grants (including “Excellent Young Scientists Fund Program” from National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2019) from Ministry of Science and Technology of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Natural Science Foundation of Beijing.

# # # # # #

Opto-Electronic Advances (OEA) is a high-impact, open access, peer reviewed monthly SCI journal with an impact factor of 8.933 (Journal Citation Reports for IF2021). Since its launch in March 2018, OEA has been indexed in SCI, EI, DOAJ, Scopus, CA and ICI databases over the time and expanded its Editorial Board to 36 members from 17 countries and regions (average h-index 49).

The journal is published by The Institute of Optics and Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, aiming at providing a platform for researchers, academicians, professionals, practitioners, and students to impart and share knowledge in the form of high quality empirical and theoretical research papers covering the topics of optics, photonics and optoelectronics.


# # # # # #


More information:

Editorial Board:

All issues available in the online archive (

Submissions to OEA may be made using ScholarOne (

ISSN: 2096-4579

CN: 51-1781/TN

Contact Us:

Twitter: @OptoElectronAdv (

WeChat: OE_Journal

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.