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Title: Polarization-sensitive optical responses from natural layered hydrated sodium sulfosalt gerstleyite

Multi-element layered materials have gained substantial attention in the context of achieving the customized light-matter interactions at subwavelength scale via stoichiometric engineering, which is crucial for the realization of miniaturized polarization-sensitive optoelectronic and nanophotonic devices. Herein, naturally occurring hydrated sodium sulfosalt gerstleyite is introduced as one new multi-element van der Waals (vdW) layered material. The mechanically exfoliated thin gerstleyite flakes are demonstrated to exhibit polarization-sensitive anisotropic linear and nonlinear optical responses including angle-resolved Raman scattering, anomalous wavelength-dependent linear dichroism transition, birefringence effect, and polarization-dependent third-harmonic generation (THG). Furthermore, the third-order nonlinear susceptibility of gerstleyite crystal is estimated by the probed flake thickness-dependent THG response. We envisage that our findings in the context of polarization-sensitive light-matter interactions in the exfoliated hydrated sulfosalt layers will be a valuable addition to the vdW layered material family and will have many implications in compact waveplates, on-chip photodetectors, optical sensors and switches, integrated photonic circuits, and nonlinear signal processing applications.

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Scientific Reports
Nature Publishing Group
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National Science Foundation
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