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Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5741, 2021 Sep 30.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34593793


Twisted two-dimensional van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures have unlocked a new means for manipulating the properties of quantum materials. The resulting mesoscopic moiré superlattices are accessible to a wide variety of scanning probes. To date, spatially-resolved techniques have prioritized electronic structure visualization, with lattice response experiments only in their infancy. Here, we therefore investigate lattice dynamics in twisted layers of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), formed by a minute twist angle between two hBN monolayers assembled on a graphite substrate. Nano-infrared (nano-IR) spectroscopy reveals systematic variations of the in-plane optical phonon frequencies amongst the triangular domains and domain walls in the hBN moiré superlattices. Our first-principles calculations unveil a local and stacking-dependent interaction with the underlying graphite, prompting symmetry-breaking between the otherwise identical neighboring moiré domains of twisted hBN.

Science ; 371(6529): 617-620, 2021 02 05.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33542134


Collective electronic modes or lattice vibrations usually prohibit propagation of electromagnetic radiation through the bulk of common materials over a frequency range associated with these oscillations. However, this textbook tenet does not necessarily apply to layered crystals. Highly anisotropic materials often display nonintuitive optical properties and can permit propagation of subdiffractional waveguide modes, with hyperbolic dispersion, throughout their bulk. Here, we report on the observation of optically induced electronic hyperbolicity in the layered transition metal dichalcogenide tungsten diselenide (WSe2). We used photoexcitation to inject electron-hole pairs in WSe2 and then visualized, by transient nanoimaging, the hyperbolic rays that traveled along conical trajectories inside of the crystal. We establish here the signatures of programmable hyperbolic electrodynamics and assess the role of quantum transitions of excitons within the Rydberg series in the observed polaritonic response.

Nat Commun ; 10(1): 4780, 2019 10 21.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31636265


Photonic crystals are commonly implemented in media with periodically varying optical properties. Photonic crystals enable exquisite control of light propagation in integrated optical circuits, and also emulate advanced physical concepts. However, common photonic crystals are unfit for in-operando on/off controls. We overcome this limitation and demonstrate a broadly tunable two-dimensional photonic crystal for surface plasmon polaritons. Our platform consists of a continuous graphene monolayer integrated in a back-gated platform with nano-structured gate insulators. Infrared nano-imaging reveals the formation of a photonic bandgap and strong modulation of the local plasmonic density of states that can be turned on/off or gradually tuned by the applied gate voltage. We also implement an artificial domain wall which supports highly confined one-dimensional plasmonic modes. Our electrostatically-tunable photonic crystals are derived from standard metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor technology and pave a way for practical on-chip light manipulation.

Sci Adv ; 5(8): eaau9956, 2019 Aug.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31448323


The observation of ultrarelativistic fermions in condensed-matter systems has uncovered a cornucopia of novel phenomenology as well as a potential for effective ultrafast light engineering of new states of matter. While the nonequilibrium properties of two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D) hexagonal crystals have been studied extensively, our understanding of the photoinduced dynamics in 3D single-valley ultrarelativistic materials is, unexpectedly, lacking. Here, we use ultrafast scanning near-field optical spectroscopy to access and control nonequilibrium large-momentum plasmon-polaritons in thin films of a prototypical narrow-bandgap semiconductor Hg0.81Cd0.19Te. We demonstrate that these collective excitations exhibit distinctly nonclassical scaling with electron density characteristic of the ultrarelativistic Kane regime and experience ultrafast initial relaxation followed by a long-lived highly coherent state. Our observation and ultrafast control of Kane plasmon-polaritons in a semiconducting material using light sources in the standard telecommunications fiber-optics window open a new avenue toward high-bandwidth coherent information processing in next-generation plasmonic circuits.

Science ; 362(6419): 1153-1156, 2018 12 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30523109


Graphene is an atomically thin plasmonic medium that supports highly confined plasmon polaritons, or nano-light, with very low loss. Electronic properties of graphene can be drastically altered when it is laid upon another graphene layer, resulting in a moiré superlattice. The relative twist angle between the two layers is a key tuning parameter of the interlayer coupling in thus-obtained twisted bilayer graphene (TBG). We studied the propagation of plasmon polaritons in TBG by infrared nano-imaging. We discovered that the atomic reconstruction occurring at small twist angles transforms the TBG into a natural plasmon photonic crystal for propagating nano-light. This discovery points to a pathway for controlling nano-light by exploiting quantum properties of graphene and other atomically layered van der Waals materials, eliminating the need for arduous top-down nanofabrication.

Nat Commun ; 9(1): 3604, 2018 09 06.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30190517


Vanadium dioxide (VO2) is a material that undergoes an insulator-metal transition upon heating above 340 K. It remains debated as to whether this electronic transition is driven by a corresponding structural transition or by strong electron-electron correlations. Here, we use apertureless scattering near-field optical microscopy to compare nanoscale images of the transition in VO2 thin films acquired at both mid-infrared and terahertz frequencies, using a home-built terahertz near-field microscope. We observe a much more gradual transition when THz frequencies are utilized as a probe, in contrast to the assumptions of a classical first-order phase transition. We discuss these results in light of dynamical mean-field theory calculations of the dimer Hubbard model recently applied to VO2, which account for a continuous temperature dependence of the optical response of the VO2 in the insulating state.