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Mid-IR to Thz Polaritons: Realizing Novel Materials for Nanophotonics
The field of nanophotonics is based on the ability to confine light to nanoscale dimensions. Within the mid- to far-infrared, such confinement inherently implies overcoming the diffraction limit due to the long free-space wavelengths. Through the implementation of polaritons one can overcome the diffraction limit through the formation of quasi-particles formed by coupling of coherent oscillating charges with photons. A whole suite of potential polaritons can be realized through careful choice of the charge, with two predominant types being the surface plasmon (free carriers) and phonon (bound charge on ionic lattice) polaritons in the infrared. While each form offers significant advantages, significant restrictions also remain. As such, identifying novel materials with unique optical functionalities and the creation of hybrid materials where the properties and function can be designed are imperative for advanced IR devices to be realized. This talk will discuss recent advancements from our group including low-loss plasmonic conducting oxides for novel infrared sources through hybridization of optical modes, the observation and exploitation of the natural hyperbolic response of hexagonal boron nitride and molybdenum trioxide for on-chip photonics, as well as the implementation of hybridization of polaritonic modes and manipulation of the phonon dispersion and density of states as a means to design infrared nanophotonic materials. Beyond this, methods to improve material lifetime, realize active modulation, control polariton propagation with nanoscale precision and to provide additional functionality will be discussed.

Oct 5, 2021 11:00 AM in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

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Professor Joshua D. Caldwell
@Mechanical Engineering Dept., Vanderbilt University