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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Plasmons and Polaritons in Low Dimensional Systems

  • Author(s): Sun, Zhiyuan
  • Advisor(s): Fogler, Michael
  • et al.
Abstract

Nearly everything relies on the electromagnetic (EM) force to be in its current form. Therefore, light-matter interaction is both a fundamental and a practical subject in physics. Focusing on the electromagnetic field, the matter degrees of freedom can be encoded into its response to the EM field in the form of charge density and urrent. Reshaped by the EM response, the photons in condensed matter systems appear as various collective modes. In this doctoral dissertation, I present our investigation of the linear and nonlinear EM response theory especially in the hydrodynamic regime of electron systems. Electrons in pristine solids behave as a hydrodynamic fluid in a certain range of temperatures and frequencies. We show that the response of such a fluid to electromagnetic field is different from what is predicted by the usual kinetic theory. Certain aspects of this response are universal, for example, a direct relation between the linear and second-order nonlinear optical conductivities. Discovery of this relation enriches our understanding of the light-matter interaction in diverse electron systems and new materials such as graphene. Subsequently, I study the properties of the charged collective modes, the plasmons and demons in 2D Dirac fluids, e.g., the electron-hole system in graphene. Under non-equilibrium situation, the amplitudes of these collective modes could possibly grow due to an effect of adiabatic amplification. I also present our study of the hyperbolic polaritons, the EM modes in hyperbolic materials. When confined in cavities, they develop isolated eigen modes which could be efficiently predicted by applying semi-classical quantization rules to fictitious particles. We demonstrate this Hamiltonian Optics analytically for cavities of spheroidal shapes, and predict novel geometric patterns of the electric field distribution due to classical periodic

orbits.

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