Ambipolar charge-transfer graphene plasmonic cavities

B. S. Y. Kim, A. J. Sternbach, M. Sup Choi, Z. Sun, F. L. Ruta, Y. Shao, A. S. McLeod, L. Xiong, Y. Dong, T. S. Chung, A. Rajendran, S. Liu, A. Nipane, S. Hoon Chae, A. Zangiabadi, X. Xu, A. J. Millis, P. J. Schuck, C. R. Dean, J. C. Hone and D. N. Basov

Nature Materials (2023)
Plasmon polaritons in van der Waals materials hold promise for various photonics applications1,2,3,4. The deterministic imprinting of spatial patterns of high carrier density in plasmonic cavities and nanoscale circuitry can enable the realization of advanced nonlinear nanophotonic5 and strong light–matter interaction platforms6. Here we demonstrate an oxidation-activated charge transfer strategy to program ambipolar low-loss graphene plasmonic structures. By covering graphene with transition-metal dichalcogenides and subsequently oxidizing the transition-metal dichalcogenides into transition-metal oxides, we activate charge transfer rooted in the dissimilar work functions between transition-metal oxides and graphene. Nano-infrared imaging reveals ambipolar low-loss plasmon polaritons at the transition-metal-oxide/graphene interfaces. Further, by inserting dielectric van der Waals spacers, we can precisely control the electron and hole densities induced by oxidation-activated charge transfer and achieve plasmons with a near-intrinsic quality factor. Using this strategy, we imprint plasmonic cavities with laterally abrupt doping profiles with nanoscale precision and demonstrate plasmonic whispering-gallery resonators based on suspended graphene encapsulated in transition-metal oxides.