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Negative reflection of polaritons at the nanoscale in a low-loss natural medium

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Version 2 2023-06-08, 12:53
Version 1 2023-01-12, 15:10
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posted on 2023-06-08, 12:53 authored by Gonzalo Alvarez-Perez, Jiahua Duan, Javier Taboada-Gutierrez, Qingdong Ou, Elizaveta Nikulina, Song Liu, James H. Edgar, Qiaoliang Bao, Vincenzo Giannini, Rainer Hillenbrand, J. Martin-Sanchez, Alexey Y. Nikitin, Pablo Alonso-Gonzalez
Negative reflection occurs when light is reflected towards the same side of the normal to the boundary from which it is incident. This exotic optical phenomenon, which provides a new avenue towards light manipulation, is not only yet to be visualized in real space but remains largely unexplored both at the nanoscale and in natural media. Here, we directly visualize nanoscale-confined polaritons negatively reflecting on subwavelength mirrors fabricated in a low-loss van der Waals crystal. Our near-field nanoimaging results unveil an unconventional and broad tunability of both the polaritonic wavelength and direction of propagation upon negative reflection. Based on these findings, we introduce a novel device in nano-optics: a hyperbolic nanoresonator, in which hyperbolic polaritons with different momenta reflect back to a common point source, enhancing its intensity. These results pave the way to realize nanophotonics in low-loss natural media, providing a novel and efficient route to confine and control the flow of light at the nanoscale, key for future optical on-chip nanotechnologies.

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