skip to main content

Title: Active and Passive Tuning of Ultranarrow Resonances in Polaritonic Nanoantennas

Optical nanoantennas are of great importance for photonic devices and spectroscopy due to their capability of squeezing light at the nanoscale and enhancing light–matter interactions. Among them, nanoantennas made of polar crystals supporting phonon polaritons (phononic nanoantennas) exhibit the highest quality factors. This is due to the low optical losses inherent in these materials, which, however, hinder the spectral tuning of the nanoantennas due to their dielectric nature. Here, active and passive tuning of ultranarrow resonances in phononic nanoantennas is realized over a wide spectral range (≈35 cm−1, being the resonance linewidth ≈9 cm−1), monitored by near‐field nanoscopy. To do that, the local environment of a single nanoantenna made of hexagonal boron nitride is modified by placing it on different polar substrates, such as quartz and 4H‐silicon carbide, or covering it with layers of a high‐refractive‐index van der Waals crystal (WSe2). Importantly, active tuning of the nanoantenna polaritonic resonances is demonstrated by placing it on top of a gated graphene monolayer in which the Fermi energy is varied. This work presents the realization of tunable polaritonic nanoantennas with ultranarrow resonances, which can find applications in active nanooptics and (bio)sensing.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    In recent years, the excitation of surface phonon polaritons (SPhPs) in van der Waals materials received wide attention from the nanophotonics community. Alpha-phase Molybdenum trioxide (α-MoO3), a naturally occurring biaxial hyperbolic crystal, emerged as a promising polaritonic material due to its ability to support SPhPs for three orthogonal directions at different wavelength bands (range 10–20μm). Here, we report on the fabrication, structural, morphological, and optical IR characterization of large-area (over 1 cm2size)α-MoO3polycrystalline film deposited on fused silica substrates by pulsed laser deposition. Due to the random grain distribution, the thin film does not display any optical anisotropy at normal incidence. However, the proposed fabrication method allows us to achieve a singleα-phase, preserving the typical strong dispersion related to the phononic response ofα-MoO3flakes. Remarkable spectral properties of interest for IR photonics applications are reported. For instance, a polarization-tunable reflection peak at 1006 cm−1with a dynamic range of ΔR= 0.3 and a resonanceQ-factor as high as 53 is observed at 45° angle of incidence. Additionally, we report the fulfillment of an impedance matching condition with the SiO2substrate leading to a polarization-independent almost perfect absorption condition (R< 0.01) at 972 cm−1which is maintained for a broad angle of incidence. In this framework our findings appear extremely promising for the further development of mid-IR lithography-free, scalable films, for efficient and large-scale sensors, filters, thermal emitters, and label-free biochemical sensing devices operating in the free space, using far-field detection setups.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract The large cross sections and strong confinement provided by the plasmon resonances of metallic nanostructures make these systems an ideal platform to implement nanoantennas. Like their macroscopic counterparts, nanoantennas enhance the coupling between deep subwavelength emitters and free radiation, providing, at the same time, an increased directionality. Here, inspired by the recent works in parity-time symmetric plasmonics, we investigate how the combination of conventional plasmonic nanostructures with active materials, which display optical gain when externally pumped, can serve to enhance the performance of metallic nanoantennas. We find that the presence of gain, in addition to mitigating the losses and therefore increasing the power radiated or absorbed by an emitter, introduces a phase difference between the elements of the nanoantenna that makes the optical response of the system directional, even in the absence of geometrical asymmetry. Exploiting these properties, we analyse how a pair of nanoantennas with balanced gain and loss can enhance the far-field interaction between two dipole emitters. The results of this work provide valuable insight into the optical response of nanoantennas made of active and passive plasmonic nanostructures, with potential applications for the design of optical devices capable of actively controlling light at the nanoscale. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    The far‐infrared (far‐IR) remains a relatively underexplored region of the electromagnetic spectrum extending roughly from 20 to 100 µm in free‐space wavelength. Research within this range has been restricted due to a lack of optical materials that can be optimized to reduce losses and increase sensitivity, as well as by the long free‐space wavelengths associated with this spectral region. Here the exceptionally broad Reststrahlen bands of two Hf‐based transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) that can support surface phonon polaritons (SPhPs) within the mid‐infrared (mid‐IR) into the terahertz (THz) are reported. In this vein, the IR transmission and reflectance spectra of hafnium disulfide (HfS2) and hafnium diselenide (HfSe2) flakes are measured and their corresponding dielectric functions are extracted. These exceptionally broad Reststrahlen bands (HfS2: 165 cm−1; HfSe2: 95 cm−1) dramatically exceed that of the more commonly explored molybdenum‐ (Mo) and tungsten‐ (W) based TMDs (≈5–10 cm−1), which results from the over sevenfold increase in the Born effective charge of the Hf‐containing compounds. This work therefore identifies a class of materials for nanophotonic and sensing applications in the mid‐ to far‐IR, such as deeply sub‐diffractional hyperbolic and polaritonic optical antennas, as is predicted via electromagnetic simulations using the extracted dielectric function.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Frequency modulated continuous wave laser ranging (FMCW LiDAR) enables distance mapping with simultaneous position and velocity information, is immune to stray light, can achieve long range, operate in the eye-safe region of 1550 nm and achieve high sensitivity. Despite its advantages, it is compounded by the simultaneous requirement of both narrow linewidth low noise lasers that can be precisely chirped. While integrated silicon-based lasers, compatible with wafer scale manufacturing in large volumes at low cost, have experienced major advances and are now employed on a commercial scale in data centers, and impressive progress has led to integrated lasers with (ultra) narrow sub-100 Hz-level intrinsic linewidth based on optical feedback from photonic circuits, these lasers presently lack fast nonthermal tuning, i.e. frequency agility as required for coherent ranging. Here, we demonstrate a hybrid photonic integrated laser that exhibits very narrow intrinsic linewidth of 25 Hz while offering linear, hysteresis-free, and mode-hop-free-tuning beyond 1 GHz with up to megahertz actuation bandwidth constituting 1.6 × 1015Hz/s tuning speed. Our approach uses foundry-based technologies - ultralow-loss (1 dB/m) Si3N4photonic microresonators, combined with aluminium nitride (AlN) or lead zirconium titanate (PZT) microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based stress-optic actuation. Electrically driven low-phase-noise lasing is attained by self-injection locking of an Indium Phosphide (InP) laser chip and only limited by fundamental thermo-refractive noise at mid-range offsets. By utilizing difference-drive and apodization of the photonic chip to suppress mechanical vibrations of the chip, a flat actuation response up to 10 MHz is achieved. We leverage this capability to demonstrate a compact coherent LiDAR engine that can generate up to 800 kHz FMCW triangular optical chirp signals, requiring neither any active linearization nor predistortion compensation, and perform a 10 m optical ranging experiment, with a resolution of 12.5 cm. Our results constitute a photonic integrated laser system for scenarios where high compactness, fast frequency actuation, and high spectral purity are required.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We present a proof of concept for a spectrally selective thermal mid-IR source based on nanopatterned graphene (NPG) with a typical mobility of CVD-grown graphene (up to 3000$$\hbox {cm}^2\,\hbox {V}^{-1}\,\hbox {s}^{-1}$$cm2V-1s-1), ensuring scalability to large areas. For that, we solve the electrostatic problem of a conducting hyperboloid with an elliptical wormhole in the presence of anin-planeelectric field. The localized surface plasmons (LSPs) on the NPG sheet, partially hybridized with graphene phonons and surface phonons of the neighboring materials, allow for the control and tuning of the thermal emission spectrum in the wavelength regime from$$\lambda =3$$λ=3to 12$$\upmu$$μm by adjusting the size of and distance between the circular holes in a hexagonal or square lattice structure. Most importantly, the LSPs along with an optical cavity increase the emittance of graphene from about 2.3% for pristine graphene to 80% for NPG, thereby outperforming state-of-the-art pristine graphene light sources operating in the near-infrared by at least a factor of 100. According to our COMSOL calculations, a maximum emission power per area of$$11\times 10^3$$11×103W/$$\hbox {m}^2$$m2at$$T=2000$$T=2000K for a bias voltage of$$V=23$$V=23V is achieved by controlling the temperature of the hot electrons through the Joule heating. By generalizing Planck’s theory to any grey body and deriving the completely general nonlocal fluctuation-dissipation theorem with nonlocal response of surface plasmons in the random phase approximation, we show that the coherence length of the graphene plasmons and the thermally emitted photons can be as large as 13$$\upmu$$μm and 150$$\upmu$$μm, respectively, providing the opportunity to create phased arrays made of nanoantennas represented by the holes in NPG. The spatial phase variation of the coherence allows for beamsteering of the thermal emission in the range between$$12^\circ$$12and$$80^\circ$$80by tuning the Fermi energy between$$E_F=1.0$$EF=1.0eV and$$E_F=0.25$$EF=0.25eV through the gate voltage. Our analysis of the nonlocal hydrodynamic response leads to the conjecture that the diffusion length and viscosity in graphene are frequency-dependent. Using finite-difference time domain calculations, coupled mode theory, and RPA, we develop the model of a mid-IR light source based on NPG, which will pave the way to graphene-based optical mid-IR communication, mid-IR color displays, mid-IR spectroscopy, and virus detection.

    more » « less