Nanoimaging of resonating hyperbolic polaritons in linear boron nitride antennas

F.J. Alfaro-Mozaz, P. Alonso-Gonzalez, S. Velez, I. Dolado, M. Autore, S. Mastel, F. Casanova, L.E. Hueso, P. Li , A.Y. Nikitin, and R. Hillenbrand

Nature Communications 8, 15624 (2017)
Polaritons in layered materials—including van der Waals materials—exhibit hyperbolic dispersion and strong field confinement, which makes them highly attractive for applications including optical nanofocusing, sensing and control of spontaneous emission. Here we report a near-field study of polaritonic Fabry–Perot resonances in linear antennas made of a hyperbolic material. Specifically, we study hyperbolic phonon–polaritons in rectangular waveguide antennas made of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN, a prototypical van der Waals crystal). Infrared nanospectroscopy and nanoimaging experiments reveal sharp resonances with large quality factors around 100, exhibiting atypical modal near-field patterns that have no analogue in conventional linear antennas. By performing a detailed mode analysis, we can assign the antenna resonances to a single waveguide mode originating from the hybridization of hyperbolic surface phonon–polaritons (Dyakonov polaritons) that propagate along the edges of the h-BN waveguide. Our work establishes the basis for the understanding and design of linear waveguides, resonators, sensors and metasurface elements based on hyperbolic materials and metamaterials.