Strongly anisotropic media where principal components of the dielectric tensor have opposite signs are called hyperbolic. These materials permit highly directional, volume-confined propagation of slow-light modes at deeply sub-diffractional size scales, leading to unique nanophotonic phenomena. The realization of hyperbolic materials within the optical spectral range has been achieved primarily through the use of artificial structures typically composed of plasmonic metals and dielectric constituents. However, while proof-of-principle experiments have been performed, the high plasmonic losses and inhomogeneity of the structures limit most advances to the laboratory. Recently, hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) was identified as a natural hyperbolic material (NHM), offering a low-loss, homogeneous medium that can operate in the mid-infrared. We have exploited the NHM response of hBN within periodic arrays of conical nanoresonators to demonstrate ‘hyperbolic polaritons,’ deeply sub-diffractional guided waves that propagate through the volume rather than on the surface of a hyperbolic material. We have identified that the polaritons are manifested as a four series of resonances in two distinct spectral bands that have mutually exclusive dependencies upon incident light polarization, modal order, and aspect ratio. These observations represent the first foray into creating NHM building blocks for mid-infrared to terahertz nanophotonic and metamaterial devices. This talk will also discuss potential near-term applications stemming from these developments.
Joshua D. Caldwell, Andrey V. Kretinin, Yiguo Chen, Vincenzo Giannini, Michael M. Fogler, Yan Francescato, Chase T. Ellis, Joseph G. Tischler, Colin R. Woods, Alexander J. Giles, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Stefan A. Maier, and Kostya S. Novoselov, "Sub-diffractional, volume-confined polaritons in a natural hyperbolic material: hexagonal boron nitride (Presentation Recording)," Proc. SPIE 9544, Metamaterials, Metadevices, and Metasystems 2015, 95440R (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 10, 2015; Published: 5 October 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2187028.4519316135001.
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