Hyperbolic phonon polaritons (HPhPs) are stimulated by coupling infrared (IR) photons with the polar lattice vibrations. Such HPhPs offer low‐loss, highly confined light propagation at subwavelength scales with out‐of‐plane or in‐plane hyperbolic wavefronts. For HPhPs, while a hyperbolic dispersion implies multiple propagating modes with a distribution of wavevectors at a given frequency, so far it has been challenging to experimentally launch and probe the higher‐order modes that offer stronger wavelength compression, especially for in‐plane HPhPs. In this work, the experimental observation of higher‐order in‐plane HPhP modes stimulated on a 3C‐SiC nanowire (NW)/α‐MoO3heterostructure is reported where leveraging both the low‐dimensionality and low‐loss nature of the polar NWs, higher‐order HPhPs modes within 2D α‐MoO3crystal are launched by the 1D 3C‐SiC NW. The launching mechanism is further studied and the requirements for efficiently launching of such higher‐order modes are determined. In addition, by altering the geometric orientation between the 3C‐SiC NW and α‐MoO3crystal, the manipulation of higher‐order HPhP dispersions as a method of tuning is demonstrated. This work illustrates an extremely anisotropic low dimensional heterostructure platform to confine and configure electromagnetic waves at the deep‐subwavelength scales for a range of IR applications including sensing, nano‐imaging, and on‐chip photonics.
Sample suspension is a valuable method to improve the mechanical, thermal, electronic, and optical properties of low-dimensional materials. In terms of confined light-matter waves—the polaritons, sample suspension can elongate the wavelength of polaritons with a positive phase velocity. Previous work demonstrates a wavelength elongation of ∼10% for hyperbolic phonon polaritons (HPPs) in uniaxial crystals of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). In this work, we report the alteration of HPPs in biaxial α-phase molybdenum trioxide (α-MoO3) by sample suspension. Our combined infrared nano-imaging experiments and electromagnetic theory reveal a wavelength elongation > 60% and a propagation length increase > 140%, due to the simultaneous wavelength elongation and dissipation elimination in the suspended specimen. We have also examined HPPs in α-MoO3with a negative phase velocity. The sample suspension shortens the HPP wavelength and simultaneously reduces the dissipation due to the unique permittivity tensor. The HPPs with improved figures of merits in the suspended specimen may be developed for nano-polaritonic circuits, biochemical sensing, emission engineering, and energy transfer.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Applied Physics Letters
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- Article No. 113101
- American Institute of Physics
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Launching and Manipulation of Higher‐Order In‐Plane Hyperbolic Phonon Polaritons in Low‐Dimensional Heterostructures
Infrared Permittivity of the Biaxial van der Waals Semiconductor α‐MoO 3 from Near‐ and Far‐Field Correlative Studies
The biaxial van der Waals semiconductor α‐phase molybdenum trioxide (α‐MoO3) has recently received significant attention due to its ability to support highly anisotropic phonon polaritons (PhPs)—infrared (IR) light coupled to lattice vibrations—offering an unprecedented platform for controlling the flow of energy at the nanoscale. However, to fully exploit the extraordinary IR response of this material, an accurate dielectric function is required. Here, the accurate IR dielectric function of α‐MoO3is reported by modeling far‐field polarized IR reflectance spectra acquired on a single thick flake of this material. Unique to this work, the far‐field model is refined by contrasting the experimental dispersion and damping of PhPs, revealed by polariton interferometry using scattering‐type scanning near‐field optical microscopy (s‐SNOM) on thin flakes of α‐MoO3, with analytical and transfer‐matrix calculations, as well as full‐wave simulations. Through these correlative efforts, exceptional quantitative agreement is attained to both far‐ and near‐field properties for multiple flakes, thus providing strong verification of the accuracy of this model, while offering a novel approach to extracting dielectric functions of nanomaterials. In addition, by employing density functional theory (DFT), insights into the various vibrational states dictating the dielectric function model and the intriguing optical properties of α‐MoO3are provided.
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