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  1. Abstract

    Surface plasmons, which allow tight confinement of light, suffer from high intrinsic electronic losses. It has been shown that stimulated emission from excited electrons can transfer energy to plasmons and compensate for the high intrinsic losses. To-date, these realizations have relied on introducing an external gain media coupled to the surface plasmon. Here, we propose that plasmons in two-dimensional materials with closely located electron and hole Fermi pockets can be amplified, when an electrical current bias is applied along the displaced electron-hole pockets, without the need for an external gain media. As a prototypical example, we consider WTe2from the family of 1T$${}^{{\prime} }$$-MX2materials, whose electronic structure can be described within a type-II tilted massive Dirac model. We find that the nonlocal plasmonic response experiences prominent gain for experimentally accessible currents on the order of mAμm−1. Furthermore, the group velocity of the plasmon found from the isofrequency curves imply that the amplified plasmons are highly collimated along a direction perpendicular to the Dirac node tilt when the electrical current is applied along it.

  2. Abstract

    The rapid discovery of two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals (vdW) quantum materials has led to heterostructures that integrate diverse quantum functionalities such as topological phases, magnetism, and superconductivity. In this context, the epitaxial synthesis of vdW heterostructures with well-controlled interfaces is an attractive route towards wafer-scale platforms for systematically exploring fundamental properties and fashioning proof-of-concept devices. Here, we use molecular beam epitaxy to synthesize a vdW heterostructure that interfaces two material systems of contemporary interest: a 2D ferromagnet (1T-CrTe2) and a topological semimetal (ZrTe2). We find that one unit-cell (u.c.) thick 1T-CrTe2grown epitaxially on ZrTe2is a 2D ferromagnet with a clear anomalous Hall effect. In thicker samples (12 u.c. thick CrTe2), the anomalous Hall effect has characteristics that may arise from real-space Berry curvature. Finally, in ultrathin CrTe2(3 u.c. thickness), we demonstrate current-driven magnetization switching in a full vdW topological semimetal/2D ferromagnet heterostructure device.

  3. Indium Selenide (In 2 Se 3 ) is a newly emerged van der Waals (vdW) ferroelectric material, which unlike traditional insulating ferroelectric materials, is a semiconductor with a bandgap of about 1.36 eV. Ferroelectric diodes and transistors based on In 2 Se 3 have been demonstrated. However, the interplay between light and electric polarization in In 2 Se 3 has not been explored. In this paper, we found that the polarization in In 2 Se 3 can be programmed by optical stimuli, due to its semiconducting nature, where the photo generated carriers in In 2 Se 3 can alter the screening field and lead to polarization reversal. Utilizing these unique properties of In 2 Se 3 , we demonstrated a new type of multifunctional device based on 2D heterostructures, which can concurrently serve as a logic gate, photodetector, electronic memory and photonic memory. This dual electrical and optical operation of the memories can simplify the device architecture and offer additional functionalities, such as ultrafast optical erase of large memory arrays. In addition, we show that dual-gate structure can address the partial switching problem commonly observed in In 2 Se 3 ferroelectric transistors, as the two gates can enhance the verticalmore »electric field and facilitate the polarization switching in the semiconducting In 2 Se 3 . These discovered effects are of general nature and should be observable in any ferroelectric semiconductor. These findings deepen the understanding of polarization switching and light-polarization interaction in semiconducting ferroelectric materials and open up their applications in multifunctional electronic and photonic devices.« less
  4. Abstract

    Low-dimensional van der Waals (vdW) materials can harness tightly confined polaritonic waves to deliver unique advantages for nanophotonic biosensing. The reduced dimensionality of vdW materials, as in the case of two-dimensional graphene, can greatly enhance plasmonic field confinement, boosting sensitivity and efficiency compared to conventional nanophotonic devices that rely on surface plasmon resonance in metallic films. Furthermore, the reduction of dielectric screening in vdW materials enables electrostatic tunability of different polariton modes, including plasmons, excitons, and phonons. One-dimensional vdW materials, particularly single-walled carbon nanotubes, possess unique form factors with confined excitons to enable single-molecule detection as well as in vivo biosensing. We discuss basic sensing principles based on vdW materials, followed by technological challenges such as surface chemistry, integration, and toxicity. Finally, we highlight progress in harnessing vdW materials to demonstrate new sensing functionalities that are difficult to perform with conventional metal/dielectric sensors.

  5. Abstract

    An acoustic plasmon mode in a graphene-dielectric-metal structure has recently been spotlighted as a superior platform for strong light-matter interaction. It originates from the coupling of graphene plasmon with its mirror image and exhibits the largest field confinement in the limit of a sub-nm-thick dielectric. Although recently detected in the far-field regime, optical near-fields of this mode are yet to be observed and characterized. Here, we demonstrate a direct optical probing of the plasmonic fields reflected by the edges of graphene via near-field scattering microscope, revealing a relatively small propagation loss of the mid-infrared acoustic plasmons in our devices that allows for their real-space mapping at ambient conditions even with unprotected, large-area graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition. We show an acoustic plasmon mode that is twice as confined and has 1.4 times higher figure of merit in terms of the normalized propagation length compared to the graphene surface plasmon under similar conditions. We also investigate the behavior of the acoustic graphene plasmons in a periodic array of gold nanoribbons. Our results highlight the promise of acoustic plasmons for graphene-based optoelectronics and sensing applications.

  6. Abstract

    Polaritons in two-dimensional materials provide extreme light confinement that is difficult to achieve with metal plasmonics. However, such tight confinement inevitably increases optical losses through various damping channels. Here we demonstrate that hyperbolic phonon polaritons in hexagonal boron nitride can overcome this fundamental trade-off. Among two observed polariton modes, featuring a symmetric and antisymmetric charge distribution, the latter exhibits lower optical losses and tighter polariton confinement. Far-field excitation and detection of this high-momenta mode become possible with our resonator design that can boost the coupling efficiency via virtual polariton modes with image charges that we dub ‘image polaritons’. Using these image polaritons, we experimentally observe a record-high effective index of up to 132 and quality factors as high as 501. Further, our phenomenological theory suggests an important role of hyperbolic surface scattering in the damping process of hyperbolic phonon polaritons.