Polariton design and modulation via van der Waals/doped semiconductor heterostructures

Mingze He, Joseph R. Matson, Mingyu Yu, Angela Cleri, Sai S. Sunku, Eli Janzen, Stefan Mastel, Thomas G. Folland, James H. Edgar, D. N. Basov, Jon-Paul Maria, Stephanie Law and Joshua D. Caldwell

Nature Communications 14, 7965 (2023)
Hyperbolic phonon polaritons (HPhPs) can be supported in materials where the real parts of their permittivities along different directions are opposite in sign. HPhPs offer confinements of long-wavelength light to deeply subdiffractional scales, while the evanescent field allows for interactions with substrates, enabling the tuning of HPhPs by altering the underlying materials. Yet, conventionally used noble metal and dielectric substrates restrict the tunability of this approach. To overcome this challenge, here we show that doped semiconductor substrates, e.g., InAs and CdO, enable a significant tuning effect and dynamic modulations. We elucidated HPhP tuning with the InAs plasma frequency in the near-field, with a maximum difference of 8.3 times. Moreover, the system can be dynamically modulated by photo-injecting carriers into the InAs substrate, leading to a wavevector change of ~20%. Overall, the demonstrated hBN/doped semiconductor platform offers significant improvements towards manipulating HPhPs, and potential for engineered and modulated polaritonic systems.