Hyperbolic phonon-polaritons in boron nitride for near-field optical imaging and focusing

Peining Li, Martin Lewin, Andrey V. Kretinin, Joshua D. Caldwell, Kostya S. Novoselov, Takashi Taniguchi, Kenji Watanabe, Fabian Gaussmann, Thomas Taubner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Hyperbolic materials exhibit sub-diffractional, highly directional, volume-confined polariton modes. Here we report that hyperbolic phonon polaritons allow for a flat slab of hexagonal boron nitride to enable exciting near-field optical applications, including unusual imaging phenomenon (such as an enlarged reconstruction of investigated objects) and sub-diffractional focusing. Both the enlarged imaging and the super-resolution focusing are explained based on the volume-confined, wavelength dependent propagation angle of hyperbolic phonon polaritons. With advanced infrared nanoimaging techniques and state-of-art mid-infrared laser sources, we have succeeded in demonstrating and visualizing these unexpected phenomena in both Type I and Type II hyperbolic conditions, with both occurring naturally within hexagonal boron nitride. These efforts have provided a full and intuitive physical picture for the understanding of the role of hyperbolic phonon polaritons in near-field optical imaging, guiding, and focusing applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7507
    JournalNature Communications
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2015


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