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A new signature for strong light-matter coupling using spectroscopic ellipsometry
preprintposted on 2023-11-30, 19:44 authored by Philip A. Thomas, Wai Jue Tan, Henry A. Fernandez, William L. Barnes
Light-matter interactions can occur when an ensemble of molecular resonators is placed in a confined electromagnetic field. In the strong coupling regime the rapid exchange of energy between the molecules and the electromagnetic field results in the emergence of hybrid light-matter states called polaritons. Multiple criteria exist to define the strong coupling regime, usually by comparing the splitting of the polariton bands with the linewidths of the uncoupled modes. Here we highlight the limitations of these criteria and study strong coupling using spectroscopic ellipsometry, a commonly used optical characterisation technique. We identify a new signature of strong coupling in ellipsometric phase spectra. Combining ellipsometric amplitude and phase spectra yields a distinct topological feature that we suggest could serve as a new criterion for strong coupling. Our results introduce the idea of ellipsometric topology and could provide further insight into the transition from the weak to strong coupling regime.