Infrared hyperbolic metasurface based on nanostructured van der Waals materials

P. Li, I. Dolado, F. J. Alfaro-Mozaz, F. Casanova, L. E. Hueso, S. Liu, J. H. Edgar, A. Y. Nikitin, S. Vélez, R. Hillenbrand

Science 359, 892–896 (2018)
Metasurfaces with strongly anisotropic optical properties can support deep subwavelength-scale confined electromagnetic waves (polaritons), which promise opportunities for controlling light in photonic and optoelectronic applications. We developed a mid-infrared hyperbolic metasurface by nanostructuring a thin layer of hexagonal boron nitride that supports deep subwavelength-scale phonon polaritons that propagate with in-plane hyperbolic dispersion. By applying an infrared nanoimaging technique, we visualize the concave (anomalous) wavefronts of a diverging polariton beam, which represent a landmark feature of hyperbolic polaritons. The results illustrate how near-field microscopy can be applied to reveal the exotic wavefronts of polaritons in anisotropic materials and demonstrate that nanostructured van der Waals materials can form a highly variable and compact platform for hyperbolic infrared metasurface devices and circuits.