We demonstrate a photo-excited broadband tunable metamaterial absorber for use in the terahertz region. The metamaterial absorber consists of a hybrid metal-semiconductor square split ring and a metallic ground plane that are separated by a dielectric resonator spacer. The conductivity of the silicon used to fill the gap in the metallic resonator is tuned actively as a function of the incident pump power, which results in frequency modulation of the resonance absorption peak. Broadband tunable metamaterial absorbers are produced by suitable placement of the photoconductive silicon in different critical regions of the metallic resonator. The proposed photo-excited broadband tunable metamaterial absorber has numerous potential applications, including uses as terahertz modulators and switches.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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