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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Probing Polaritons in 2D Materials with Synchrotron Infrared Nanospectroscopy


Polaritons, which are quasiparticles composed of a photon coupled to an electric or magnetic dipole, are a major focus in nanophotonic research of van der Waals (vdW) crystals and their derived 2D materials. For the variety of existing vdW materials, polaritons can be active in a broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum (meVs to eVs) and exhibit momenta much higher than the corresponding free-space radiation. Hence, the use of high momentum broadband sources or probes is imperative to excite those quasiparticles and measure the frequency-momentum dispersion relations, which provide insights into polariton dynamics. Synchrotron infrared nanospectroscopy (SINS) is a technique that combines the nanoscale spatial resolution of scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy with ultrabroadband synchrotron infrared radiation, making it highly suitable to probe and characterize a variety of vdW polaritons. Here, the advances enabled by SINS on the study of key photonic attributes of far- and mid-infrared plasmon- and phonon-polaritons in vdW and 2D crystals are reviewed. In that context the SINS technique is comprehensively described and it is demonstrated how fundamental polaritonic properties are retrieved for a range of atomically thin systems including hBN, MoS2, graphene and 2D heterostructures.

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