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  1. Abstract The lattice symmetry of a crystal is one of the most important factors in determining its physical properties. Particularly, low-symmetry crystals offer powerful opportunities to control light propagation, polarization and phase 1–4 . Materials featuring extreme optical anisotropy can support a hyperbolic response, enabling coupled light–matter interactions, also known as polaritons, with highly directional propagation and compression of light to deeply sub-wavelength scales 5 . Here we show that monoclinic crystals can support hyperbolic shear polaritons, a new polariton class arising in the mid-infrared to far-infrared due to shear phenomena in the dielectric response. This feature emerges in materialsmore »in which the dielectric tensor cannot be diagonalized, that is, in low-symmetry monoclinic and triclinic crystals in which several oscillators with non-orthogonal relative orientations contribute to the optical response 6,7 . Hyperbolic shear polaritons complement previous observations of hyperbolic phonon polaritons in orthorhombic 1,3,4 and hexagonal 8,9 crystal systems, unveiling new features, such as the continuous evolution of their propagation direction with frequency, tilted wavefronts and asymmetric responses. The interplay between diagonal loss and off-diagonal shear phenomena in the dielectric response of these materials has implications for new forms of non-Hermitian and topological photonic states. We anticipate that our results will motivate new directions for polariton physics in low-symmetry materials, which include geological minerals 10 , many common oxides 11 and organic crystals 12 , greatly expanding the material base and extending design opportunities for compact photonic devices.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 24, 2023
  2. Abstract All-dielectric nanostructures have recently opened exciting opportunities for functional nanophotonics, owing to their strong optical resonances along with low material loss in the near-infrared range. Pushing these concepts to the visible range is hindered by their larger absorption coefficient, thus encouraging the search for alternative dielectrics for nanophotonics. Here, we employ bandgap engineering to synthesize hydrogenated amorphous Si nanoparticles (a-Si:H NPs) offering ideal features for functional nanophotonics. We observe significant material loss suppression in a-Si:H NPs in the visible range caused by hydrogenation-induced bandgap renormalization, producing strong higher-order resonant modes in single NPs with Q factors up to ~100more »in the visible and near-IR range. We also realize highly tunable all-dielectric meta-atoms by coupling a-Si:H NPs to photochromic spiropyran molecules. ~70% reversible all-optical tuning of light scattering at the higher-order resonant mode under a low incident light intensity is demonstrated. Our results promote the development of high-efficiency visible nanophotonic devices.« less