T. Wang, P. Li, D. N. Chigrin, A. J. Giles, F. J. Bezares, O. J. Glembocki, J. D. Caldwell and T. Taubner
ACS Photonics 4, 1753 (2017)
A conventional thermal emitter exhibits a broad emission spectrum with a peak wavelength depending upon the operation temperature. Recently, narrowband thermal emission was realized with periodic gratings or single microstructures of polar crystals supporting distinct optical modes. Here, we exploit the coupling of adjacent phonon-polaritonic nanostructures, demonstrating experimentally that the nanometer-scale gaps can control the thermal emission frequency while retaining emission line widths as narrow as 10 cm–1. This was achieved by using deeply subdiffractional bowtie-shaped silicon carbide nanoantennas. Infrared far-field reflectance spectroscopy, near-field optical nanoimaging, and full-wave electromagnetic simulations were employed to prove that the thermal emission originates from strongly localized surface phonon-polariton resonances of nanoantenna structures. The observed narrow emission line widths and exceptionally small modal volumes provide new opportunities for the user-design of near- and far-field radiation patterns for advancements in infrared spectroscopy, sensing, signaling, communications, coherent thermal emission, and infrared photodetection.