Metasurfaces constitute a powerful approach to generate and control light by engineering optical material properties at the subwavelength scale. Recently, this concept was applied to manipulate free-electron radiation phenomena, rendering versatile light sources with unique functionalities. In this Letter, we experimentally demonstrate spectral and angular control over coherent light emission by metasurfaces that interact with freeelectrons under grazing incidence. Specifically, we study metalenses based on chirped metagratings that simultaneously emit and shape Smith-Purcell radiation in the visible and near-infrared spectral regime. In good agreement with theory, we observe the far-field signatures of strongly convergent and divergent cylindrical radiation wavefronts using in situ hyperspectral angle-resolved light detection in a scanning electron microscope. Furthermore, we theoretically explore simultaneous control over the polarization and wavefront of Smith-Purcell radiation via a split-ring-resonator metasurface, enabling tunable operation by spatially selective mode excitation at nanometer resolution. Our work highlights the potential of merging metasurfaces with free-electron excitations for versatile and highly tunable radiation sources in wide-ranging spectral regimes.

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European Research Council (ERC) , European Union Horizon 2020 , The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Nano Lett.
Photonic Materials

Karnieli, A., Roitman, D., Liebtrau, M., Tsesses, S., van Nielen, N., Kaminer, I., … Polman, A. (2022). Cylindrical Metalens for Generation and Focusing of Free-Electron Radiation. Nano Lett., 22(14), 5641–5650. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c04556