Planar refraction and lensing of highly confined polaritons in anisotropic media

J. Duan, G. Álvarez-Pérez, A. I.F. Tresguerres-Mata, J. Taboada-Gutiérrez, K. V. Voronin, A. Bylinkin, B. Chang, S. Xiao, S. Liu, J. H. Edgar, J. I. Martín, V. S. Volkov, R. Hillenbrand, J. Martín-Sánchez, A. Y. Nikitin, P. Alonso-González*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Refraction between isotropic media is characterized by light bending towards the normal to the boundary when passing from a low- to a high-refractive-index medium. However, refraction between anisotropic media is a more exotic phenomenon which remains barely investigated, particularly at the nanoscale. Here, we visualize and comprehensively study the general case of refraction of electromagnetic waves between two strongly anisotropic (hyperbolic) media, and we do it with the use of nanoscale-confined polaritons in a natural medium: α-MoO3. The refracted polaritons exhibit non-intuitive directions of propagation as they traverse planar nanoprisms, enabling to unveil an exotic optical effect: bending-free refraction. Furthermore, we develop an in-plane refractive hyperlens, yielding foci as small as λp/6, being λp the polariton wavelength (λ0/50 compared to the wavelength of free-space light). Our results set the grounds for planar nano-optics in strongly anisotropic media, with potential for effective control of the flow of energy at the nanoscale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4325
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
G.Á.-P. and J.T.-G. acknowledge support through the Severo Ochoa Program from the Government of the Principality of Asturias (nos. PA-20-PF-BP19-053 and PA-18-PF-BP17-126, respectively). S.X. acknowledges the support from Independent Research Fund Denmark (Project No. 9041-00333B). B.C. acknowledges the support from VILLUM FONDEN (No. 00027987). The Center for Nanostructured Graphene is sponsored by the Danish National Research Foundation (Project No. DNRF103.) K.V.V. and V.S.V. gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (Agreement No. 075-15-2021-606). J.M.-S. acknowledges financial support through the Ramón y Cajal Program from the Government of Spain (RYC2018-026196-I). A.Y.N. and J.I.M. acknowledge the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (national projects MAT201788358-C3-3-R and PID2019-104604RB/AEI/10.13039/501100011033). R.H. acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (national project RTI2018-094830-B-100 and the project MDM-2016-0618 of the Marie de Maeztu Units of Excellence Program) and the Basque Government (grant No. IT1164-19). A.Y. N. also acknowledges the Basque Department of Education (grant no. PIBA-2020-1-0014). P.A.-G. acknowledges support from the European Research Council under starting grant no. 715496, 2DNANOPTICA and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation grant number PID2019-111156GB-I00).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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