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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tunable Cherenkov Radiation of Phonon Polaritons in Silver Nanowire/Hexagonal Boron Nitride Heterostructures.

  • Author(s): Zhang, Yiran;
  • Hu, Cheng;
  • Lyu, Bosai;
  • Li, Hongyuan;
  • Ying, Zhe;
  • Wang, Lele;
  • Deng, Aolin;
  • Luo, Xingdong;
  • Gao, Qiang;
  • Chen, Jiajun;
  • Du, Jing;
  • Shen, Peiyue;
  • Watanabe, Kenji;
  • Taniguchi, Takashi;
  • Kang, Ji-Hun;
  • Wang, Feng;
  • Zhang, Yueheng;
  • Shi, Zhiwen
  • et al.

Polaritons in two-dimensional (2D) materials have shown their unique capabilities to concentrate light into deep subwavelength scales. Precise control of the excitation and propagation of 2D polaritons has remained a central challenge for future on-chip nanophotonic devices and circuits. To solve this issue, we exploit Cherenkov radiation, a classic physical phenomenon that occurs when a charged particle moves at a velocity greater than the phase velocity of light in that medium, in low-dimensional material heterostructures. Here, we report an experimental observation of Cherenkov phonon polariton wakes emitted by superluminal one-dimensional plasmon polaritons in a silver nanowire and hexagonal boron nitride heterostructure using near-field infrared nanoscopy. The observed Cherenkov radiation direction and radiation rate exhibit large tunability through varying the excitation frequency. Such tunable Cherenkov phonon polaritons provide opportunities for novel deep subwavelength-scale manipulation of light and nanoscale control of energy flow in low-dimensional material heterostructures.

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