Van der Waals Phonon Polariton Microstructures for Configurable Infrared Electromagnetic Field Localizations

W. Huang , F. Sun, Z. Zheng, T. G. Folland, X. Chen, H. Liao, N. Xu, J. D. Caldwell, H. Chen and S. Deng

Advanced Science, Early View 2004872 (2021)
Polar van der Waals (vdW) crystals that support phonon polaritons have recently attracted much attention because they can confine infrared and terahertz (THz) light to deeply subwavelength dimensions, allowing for the guiding and manipulation of light at the nanoscale. The practical applications of these crystals in devices rely strongly on deterministic engineering of their spatially localized electromagnetic field distributions, which has remained challenging. The polariton interference can be enhanced and tailored by patterning the vdW crystal α-MoO3 into microstructures that support highly in-plane anisotropic phonon polaritons. The orientation of the polaritonic in-plane isofrequency curve relative to the microstructure edges is a critical parameter governing the polariton interference, rendering the configuration of infrared electromagnetic field localizations by enabling the tuning of the microstructure size and shape and the excitation frequency. Thus, the study presents an effective rationale for engineering infrared light flow in planar photonic devices.