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Active and Tunable Near-Infrared Hyperbolic Metamaterials


Hyperbolic metamaterials (HMMs) are metal-dielectric composite materials that exhibit hyperbolic dispersion for electromagnetic waves. The extreme anisotropy and broadband optical density of states associated with hyperbolic dispersion enable enhanced spontaneous emission rates and nonlinear processes, as well as guiding of light below the diffraction limit. While promising for next-generation nanophotonic devices and circuits, HMMs suffer from high dissipation rates due to the constituent metal, as well as fixed properties. Therefore, HMMs with active components are of interest for gain-compensated and tunable properties. In this dissertation, we investigate near-infrared HMM based on indium gallium arsenide phosphide (InGaAsP) mulitple quantum wells (MQW), a gain material commonly used in lasers for communication systems. We theoretically analyze gain compensation in InGaAsP MQW-based HMM combined with silver (Ag) and aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO), the latter which is itself a metal with passively tunable properties. For comparison, we also analyze zinc oxide (ZnO) in combination with Ag and AZO. We report on the experimental demonstration of luminescent Ag/InGaAsP MQW HMM, where hyperbolic dispersion is confirmed by the extreme anisotropy of photoluminescence. Experimental demonstration of hyperbolic dispersion in AZO/ZnO is also reported. Finally, we discuss several circuit-level applications of active, near-infrared HMM.

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