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Twisted nano-optics: Manipulating light at the nanoscale with twisted phonon polaritonic slabs

AuthorsDuan, Jiahua; Capote Robayna, Nathaniel; Taboada-Gutiérrez, Javier; Álvarez-Pérez, Gonzalo; Prieto, Iván; Martín-Sánchez, Javier; Nikitin, Alexey Y.; Alonso-González, Pablo CSIC ORCID
Issue Date2020
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationNano Letters 20(7): 5323–5329 (2020)
AbstractRecent discoveries have shown that, when two layers of van der Waals (vdW) materials are superimposed with a relative twist angle between them, the electronic properties of the coupled system can be dramatically altered. Here, we demonstrate that a similar concept can be extended to the optics realm, particularly to propagating phonon polaritons–hybrid light-matter interactions. To do this, we fabricate stacks composed of two twisted slabs of a vdW crystal (α-MoO3) supporting anisotropic phonon polaritons (PhPs), and image the propagation of the latter when launched by localized sources. Our images reveal that, under a critical angle, the PhPs isofrequency curve undergoes a topological transition, in which the propagation of PhPs is strongly guided (canalization regime) along predetermined directions without geometric spreading. These results demonstrate a new degree of freedom (twist angle) for controlling the propagation of polaritons at the nanoscale with potential for nanoimaging, (bio)-sensing, or heat management.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c01673
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