Research ArticlePHYSICS

Programmable Bloch polaritons in graphene

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Science Advances  07 May 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 19, eabe8087
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe8087

Abstract

Efficient control of photons is enabled by hybridizing light with matter. The resulting light-matter quasi-particles can be readily programmed by manipulating either their photonic or matter constituents. Here, we hybridized infrared photons with graphene Dirac electrons to form surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) and uncovered a previously unexplored means to control SPPs in structures with periodically modulated carrier density. In these periodic structures, common SPPs with continuous dispersion are transformed into Bloch polaritons with attendant discrete bands separated by bandgaps. We explored directional Bloch polaritons and steered their propagation by dialing the proper gate voltage. Fourier analysis of the near-field images corroborates that this on-demand nano-optics functionality is rooted in the polaritonic band structure. Our programmable polaritonic platform paves the way for the much-sought benefits of on-the-chip photonic circuits.

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