Research ArticlePHYSICS

Addressable metasurfaces for dynamic holography and optical information encryption

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Science Advances  15 Jun 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 6, eaar6768
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar6768


Metasurfaces enable manipulation of light propagation at an unprecedented level, benefitting from a number of merits unavailable to conventional optical elements, such as ultracompactness, precise phase and polarization control at deep subwavelength scale, and multifunctionalities. Recent progress in this field has witnessed a plethora of functional metasurfaces, ranging from lenses and vortex beam generation to holography. However, research endeavors have been mainly devoted to static devices, exploiting only a glimpse of opportunities that metasurfaces can offer. We demonstrate a dynamic metasurface platform, which allows independent manipulation of addressable subwavelength pixels at visible frequencies through controlled chemical reactions. In particular, we create dynamic metasurface holograms for advanced optical information processing and encryption. Plasmonic nanorods tailored to exhibit hierarchical reaction kinetics upon hydrogenation/dehydrogenation constitute addressable pixels in multiplexed metasurfaces. The helicity of light, hydrogen, oxygen, and reaction duration serve as multiple keys to encrypt the metasurfaces. One single metasurface can be deciphered into manifold messages with customized keys, featuring a compact data storage scheme as well as a high level of information security. Our work suggests a novel route to protect and transmit classified data, where highly restricted access of information is imposed.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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