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Title: Ultralow-loss polaritons in isotopically pure boron nitride

Conventional optical components are limited to size scales much larger than the wavelength of light, as changes to the amplitude, phase and polarization of the electromagnetic fields are accrued gradually along an optical path. However, advances in nanophotonics have produced ultrathin, so-called ‘flat’ optical components that beget abrupt changes in these properties over distances significantly shorter than the free-space wavelength. Although high optical losses still plague many approaches, phonon polariton (PhP) materials have demonstrated long lifetimes for sub-diffractional modes in comparison to plasmon-polariton-based nanophotonics. We experimentally observe a threefold improvement in polariton lifetime through isotopic enrichment of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). Commensurate increases in the polariton propagation length are demonstrated via direct imaging of polaritonic standing waves by means of infrared nano-optics. Lastly, our results provide the foundation for a materials-growth-directed approach aimed at realizing the loss control necessary for the development of PhP-based nanophotonic devices.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [5] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Naval Research Lab. (NRL), Washington, DC (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Dept. of Physics
  3. Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Materials Science & Technology Division
  5. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Dept. of Physics; Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1476-1122
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Two-dimensional materials; Nanophotonics and plasmonics; Polaritons; Sub-wavelength optics
OSTI Identifier:
1423117

Giles, Alexander J., Dai, Siyuan, Vurgaftman, Igor, Hoffman, Timothy, Liu, Song, Lindsay, Lucas, Ellis, Chase T., Assefa, Nathanael, Chatzakis, Ioannis, Reinecke, Thomas L., Tischler, Joseph G., Fogler, Michael M., Edgar, J. H., Basov, D. N., and Caldwell, Joshua D.. Ultralow-loss polaritons in isotopically pure boron nitride. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1038/nmat5047.
Giles, Alexander J., Dai, Siyuan, Vurgaftman, Igor, Hoffman, Timothy, Liu, Song, Lindsay, Lucas, Ellis, Chase T., Assefa, Nathanael, Chatzakis, Ioannis, Reinecke, Thomas L., Tischler, Joseph G., Fogler, Michael M., Edgar, J. H., Basov, D. N., & Caldwell, Joshua D.. Ultralow-loss polaritons in isotopically pure boron nitride. United States. doi:10.1038/nmat5047.
Giles, Alexander J., Dai, Siyuan, Vurgaftman, Igor, Hoffman, Timothy, Liu, Song, Lindsay, Lucas, Ellis, Chase T., Assefa, Nathanael, Chatzakis, Ioannis, Reinecke, Thomas L., Tischler, Joseph G., Fogler, Michael M., Edgar, J. H., Basov, D. N., and Caldwell, Joshua D.. 2017. "Ultralow-loss polaritons in isotopically pure boron nitride". United States. doi:10.1038/nmat5047.
@article{osti_1423117,
title = {Ultralow-loss polaritons in isotopically pure boron nitride},
author = {Giles, Alexander J. and Dai, Siyuan and Vurgaftman, Igor and Hoffman, Timothy and Liu, Song and Lindsay, Lucas and Ellis, Chase T. and Assefa, Nathanael and Chatzakis, Ioannis and Reinecke, Thomas L. and Tischler, Joseph G. and Fogler, Michael M. and Edgar, J. H. and Basov, D. N. and Caldwell, Joshua D.},
abstractNote = {Conventional optical components are limited to size scales much larger than the wavelength of light, as changes to the amplitude, phase and polarization of the electromagnetic fields are accrued gradually along an optical path. However, advances in nanophotonics have produced ultrathin, so-called ‘flat’ optical components that beget abrupt changes in these properties over distances significantly shorter than the free-space wavelength. Although high optical losses still plague many approaches, phonon polariton (PhP) materials have demonstrated long lifetimes for sub-diffractional modes in comparison to plasmon-polariton-based nanophotonics. We experimentally observe a threefold improvement in polariton lifetime through isotopic enrichment of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). Commensurate increases in the polariton propagation length are demonstrated via direct imaging of polaritonic standing waves by means of infrared nano-optics. Lastly, our results provide the foundation for a materials-growth-directed approach aimed at realizing the loss control necessary for the development of PhP-based nanophotonic devices.},
doi = {10.1038/nmat5047},
journal = {Nature Materials},
number = 2,
volume = 17,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

Works referenced in this record:

Phonon-Polaritonic Bowtie Nanoantennas: Controlling Infrared Thermal Radiation at the Nanoscale
journal, June 2017

Hyperbolic metamaterials
journal, December 2013
  • Poddubny, Alexander; Iorsh, Ivan; Belov, Pavel
  • Nature Photonics, Vol. 7, Issue 12, p. 948-957
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.243