Abstract

The optical modulation of graphene circumvents the “electrical bottleneck” in electrical field tuning of the Fermi level and motivates diverse graphene-based controllable photonic devices with extraordinary performances. Unfortunately, pervious optical modulation schemes are incoherent, and the Fermi–Dirac distribution formed from a strong pump laser prevents the absorption of a weak probe laser due to the Pauli blocking, making the modulation inconvenient and low in efficiency. Here we demonstrate the coherent optical modulation of graphene based on coherent population oscillation, where ground state population oscillates with a beat frequency equal to the pump and probe frequency difference. To distinguish it from the coexisting incoherent modulation in graphene, a phase-sensitive pump-probe system is constructed with a fiber-based Mach–Zehnder interferometer. Clear resonance within the burning hole of a pump laser is observed in the interference spectrum of a coherent probe laser. The discovery of highly coherent ground state population oscillation in graphene offers new possibilities for manipulating and controlling the phase response of graphene-based photonics with high efficiency.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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