Van der Waals Materials for Applications in Nanophotonics
preprintposted on 2023-06-08, 12:57 authored by Panaiot G. Zotev, Yue Wang, Daniel Andres-Penares, Toby Severs Millard, Sam Randerson, Xuerong Hu, Luca Sortino, Charalambos Louca, Mauro Brotons-Gisbert, Tahiyat Huq, Stefano Vezzoli, Riccardo Sapienza, Thomas F. Krauss, Brian Gerardot, Alexander I. Tartakovskii
Numerous optical phenomena and applications have been enabled by nanophotonic structures. Their current fabrication from high refractive index dielectrics, such as silicon or gallium phosphide, pose restricting fabrication challenges, while metals, relying on plasmons and thus exhibiting high ohmic losses, limit the achievable applications. Here, we present an emerging class of layered so-called van der Waals (vdW) crystals as a viable nanophotonics platform. We extract the dielectric response of 11 mechanically exfoliated thin-film (20-200 nm) van der Waals crystals, revealing high refractive indices up to n = 5, pronounced birefringence up to $\Delta$n = 3, sharp absorption resonances, and a range of transparency windows from ultraviolet to near-infrared. We then fabricate nanoantennas on SiO$_2$ and gold utilizing the compatibility of vdW thin films with a variety of substrates. We observe pronounced Mie resonances due to the high refractive index contrast on SiO$_2$ leading to a strong exciton-photon coupling regime as well as largely unexplored high-quality-factor, hybrid Mie-plasmon modes on gold. We demonstrate further vdW-material-specific degrees of freedom in fabrication by realizing nanoantennas from stacked twisted crystalline thin-films, enabling control of nonlinear optical properties, and post-fabrication nanostructure transfer, important for nano-optics with sensitive materials.