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Addressing the impact of surface roughness on epsilon-near-zero substrates

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posted on 2023-03-10, 17:01 authored by David Navajas, José Manuel Pérez-Escudero, Iñigo Liberal
Epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) media have been very actively investigated due to their unconventional wave phenomena and strengthened nonlinear response. However, the technological impact of ENZ media will be determined by the quality of realistic ENZ materials, including material loss and surface roughness. Here, we provide a comprehensive experimental study of the impact of surface roughness on ENZ substrates. Using silicon carbide (SiC) substrates with artificially induced roughness, we analyze samples whose roughness ranges from a few to hundreds of nanometer size-scales. It is concluded that ENZ substrates with roughness in the few nanometer scale are negatively affected by coupling to longitudinal phonons and strong ENZ fields normal to the surface. On the other hand, when the roughness is in the hundreds of nanometer scale, the ENZ band is found to be more robust than dielectric and surface phonon polariton (SPhP) bands.



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