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Topological phase singularities in atomically thin high-refractive-index materials

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Version 2 2023-06-08, 12:45
Version 1 2023-01-11, 23:06
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posted on 2023-06-08, 12:45 authored by Georgy Ermolaev, Kirill Voronin, Denis G. Baranov, Vasyl Kravets, Gleb Tselikov, Yury Stebunov, Dmitry Yakubovsky, Sergey Novikov, Andrey Vyshnevyy, Arslan Mazitov, Ivan Kruglov, Sergey Zhukov, Roman Romanov, Andrey M. Markeev, Aleksey Arsenin, Kostya S. Novoselov, Alexander N. Grigorenko, Valentyn Volkov
Atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) present a promising platform for numerous photonic applications due to excitonic spectral features, possibility to tune their constants by external gating, doping, or light, and mechanical stability. Utilization of such materials for sensing or optical modulation purposes would require a clever optical design, as by itself the 2D materials can offer only a small optical phase delay - consequence of the atomic thickness. To address this issue, we combine films of 2D semiconductors which exhibit excitonic lines with the Fabry-Perot resonators of the standard commercial SiO$_2$/Si substrate, in order to realize topological phase singularities in reflection. Around these singularities, reflection spectra demonstrate rapid phase changes while the structure behaves as a perfect absorber. Furthermore, we demonstrate that such topological phase singularities are ubiquitous for the entire class of atomically thin TMDCs and other high-refractive-index materials, making it a powerful tool for phase engineering in flat optics. As a practical demonstration, we employ PdSe$_2$ topological phase singularities for a refractive index sensor and demonstrate its superior phase sensitivity compared to typical surface plasmon resonance sensors.

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