Tunable Surface Plasmon Infrared Modulator

Technology Summary

There is a need for improved active infrared optical elements such as modulators. Extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) through subwavelength apertures allows for tailored filtering based on plasmon resonance. Until now EOT devices have not fully achieved the need for variable attenuation capabilities.


Sandia has developed an EOT device with a tunable surface plasmon resonance wavelength, where the controllability is derived from variation of the dielectric constant in the semiconducting material in contact with the grating.


  • Minaturizable
  • Tunable Control of Dielectric
  • Microfabricated

Applications and Industries

  • Infrared Modulator
  • IR Counter Measures
  • Photonic Circuitry
  • Metamaterials
  • Chemical Sensing
  • Variable Attenuation

Intellectual Property

ID Number
Patent Number
Tunable surface plasmon devices 8,009,356 08/30/2011
Technology IDSD#10692Development StagePrototype - Sandia estimates this technology at a Technology Readiness Level 5. Key elements of the technology have been demonstrated in relevant environments.AvailabilityAvailable - Various licensing and partnering options are available. Please contact the Intellectual Property department to discuss. Published12/01/2011Last Updated01/23/2013