Hyperbolic polaritonic crystals with configurable low-symmetry Bloch modes

Jiangtao Lv, Yingjie Wu, Jingying Liu, Youning Gong, Guangyuan Si, Guangwei Hu, Qing Zhang, Yupeng Zhang, Jian-Xin Tang, Michael S. Fuhrer, Hongsheng Chen, Stefan A. Maier, Cheng-Wei Qiu and Qingdong Ou

Nature Communications 14, 3894 (2023)
Photonic crystals (PhCs) are a kind of artificial structures that can mold the flow of light at will. Polaritonic crystals (PoCs) made from polaritonic media offer a promising route to controlling nano-light at the subwavelength scale. Conventional bulk PhCs and recent van der Waals PoCs mainly show highly symmetric excitation of Bloch modes that closely rely on lattice orders. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a type of hyperbolic PoCs with configurable and low-symmetry deep-subwavelength Bloch modes that are robust against lattice rearrangement in certain directions. This is achieved by periodically perforating a natural crystal α-MoO3 that hosts in-plane hyperbolic phonon polaritons. The mode excitation and symmetry are controlled by the momentum matching between reciprocal lattice vectors and hyperbolic dispersions. We show that the Bloch modes and Bragg resonances of hyperbolic PoCs can be tuned through lattice scales and orientations while exhibiting robust properties immune to lattice rearrangement in the hyperbolic forbidden directions. Our findings provide insights into the physics of hyperbolic PoCs and expand the categories of PhCs, with potential applications in waveguiding, energy transfer, biosensing and quantum nano-optics.