Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Ultrafast Optical Pulse Shaping using Dielectric Metasurfaces



Shawn M. Divitt, Wenqi Zhu, Cheng Zhang, Henri Lezec, Amit Agrawal


Simultaneous control of individual frequency-comb lines, and their modulation at the repetition-rate of an ultrafast laser represents the ultimate limit of optical pulse shaping. Remarkable progress in mode-locked lasers and chirped pulse amplifiers promising to reach atto- and zeptosecond pulse lengths with peak powers approaching exa- and even zettawatt levels, will require fundamentally new pulse modulation strategies capable of supporting, simultaneously, the enormous bandwidth and power associated with these pulses while maintaining high spectral resolution. Here, we offer the first experimental demonstration of optical pulse shaping using a dielectric metasurface able to simultaneously control the amplitude, phase and polarization of the various frequency components of an ultrafast pulse. Dielectric metasurfaces offer a low cost, high resolution, high diffraction efficiency, high damage threshold and lithography- friendly alternative to commercial spatial-light-modulators used for controlling ultrafast pulses. By offering the potential for complete spatio-temporal control of optical fields, metasurface based pulse-shapers are expected to have significant impact in the field of ultrafast science and technology.
Science Magazine


Metamaterials, Ultrafast Optics.


Divitt, S. , Zhu, W. , Zhang, C. , Lezec, H. and Agrawal, A. (2019), Ultrafast Optical Pulse Shaping using Dielectric Metasurfaces, Science Magazine, [online],, (Accessed June 18, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created May 1, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021