A new type of infrared polariton on the surface of bulk crystals

Illustration of a ghost polariton propagating away from a point source on the surface of calcite. Credit: Weiliang Ma / HUST

International team reported Nature First observation of ghost polariton. This is a new form of surface wave that carries nanoscale light, which is strongly coupled to the vibration of the material and features highly collimated propagation properties. The research team will observe these phenomena with calcite, a common material, and see how ghost polaritons can facilitate superior control of infrared nanolights for sensing, signal processing, energy harvesting, and other technologies. Shown.

In recent years, infrared and terahertz frequency nanophotonics have become important for sensitive, ultra-compact, low-loss technologies for biomolecular and chemical diagnostics, sensors, communications, and other applications. Nanomaterial platforms capable of facilitating light-material interactions enhanced at these frequencies are essential to these technologies. Recent studies have used low-dimensional van der Waals materials such as graphene. Hexagonal boron nitride Alpha-phase molybdenum trioxide (α-MoO3, Nature 2018) due to its highly exotic response to nanoscale confined light. However, these new nanomaterials require demanding nanofabrication technology and hinder large-scale nanophotonic technology.

write in Nature August 18, 2021, City University of New York Advanced Science Research Center, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), National University of Singapore (NUS), highly collaborative international team Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) led by scientists at the National Center , Calsite, a well-known bulk crystal commonly used in other technologies, reports that it can naturally support ghost polaritons.

The team investigated the interaction of light with calcite and discovered an unexpected infrared phonon. Polariton reaction. They demonstrated that easy-to-polish calcite can support ghost polariton surface waves characterized by complex out-of-plane momentum that is quite different from previously observed surface polaritons.

“Polaritonics Science Technology that utilizes the strong interaction of light and matter, and it has revolutionized Optical science Andrea Alù, a professor of physics at the Einstein Graduate Center and the founding director of the Photonics Initiative at the Center for Advanced Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center, said in the last few years: Amazing physics that comes from exploring Polariton with traditional materials like calcite. “

“We examined these ghost polariton using a scattered scanning near-field optical microscope (s-SNOM),” said lead author Dr. Weiliang Ma. Candidate for HUST. “Excitingly, we have shown the propagation of nanolights like rays up to 20 micrometers. This is a record long range of polariton waves at room temperature.”

“I’m excited to find a new solution to Maxwell’s equations, which is characterized by complex out-of-plane momentum. Even more exciting, I was able to observe it in a very common crystal.” Guangwei Hu, lead author, postdoctoral fellow at NUS, and long-term visitor to CUNY, said.

“This type of polariton can be adjusted via the optical axis to introduce new ways of working with polariton,” said Cheng-Wei Qiu, a professor of dean at NUS. .. “

NCNS Professors Debo Hu and Qing Dai, and Runkun Chen, Ph.D. Professor Xinliang Zhang of HUST has also contributed significantly to this work.

How to manipulate nanoscale light over a wide frequency range

For more information:
Weiliang Ma et al, Ghost Hyperbolic Surface Polariton of Bulk Anisotropy Crystals, Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-021-03755-1

Quote: A new type of infrared polariton on the surface of bulk crystals (August 27, 2021) from https: // 2021 Obtained on August 29th.

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