Probing hyperbolic polaritons using infrared attenuated total reflectance micro-spectroscopy


Hyperbolic polariton modes are highly appealing for a broad range of applications in nanophotonics, including surfaced enhanced sensing, sub-diffractional imaging, and reconfigurable metasurfaces. Here we show that attenuated total reflectance (ATR) micro-spectroscopy using standard spectroscopic tools can launch hyperbolic polaritons in a Kretschmann-Raether configuration. We measure multiple hyperbolic and dielectric modes within the naturally hyperbolic material hexagonal boron nitride as a function of different isotopic enrichments and flake thickness. This overcomes the technical challenges of measurement approaches based on nanostructuring, or scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy. Ultimately, our ATR approach allows us to compare the optical properties of small-scale materials prepared by different techniques systematically.

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Support for J.D.C., J.R.N., and T.G.F. was provided by the Office of Naval Research through grant number N000141812107 and through funds administered by the US Naval Research Laboratory through the Nanoscience Institute. The initial efforts of this work were funded through the NRL Long-Term Training program. T.T. and T.W.W.M. acknowledge support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within SPP-1327 “Sub-100nm structures for optical and biomedical applications” and the Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Support for J.H.E. and S.L. provided from the Materials Engineering and Processing program of the National Science Foundation, award number CMMI 1538127 is greatly appreciated.

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Correspondence to Joshua D. Caldwell.

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Folland, T.G., Maß, T.W.W., Matson, J.R. et al. Probing hyperbolic polaritons using infrared attenuated total reflectance micro-spectroscopy. MRS Communications 8, 1418–1425 (2018).

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