Reconfigurable Infrared Hyperbolic Metasurfaces using Phase-Change Materials

T. G. Folland, A. Fali, S. T. White, J. R. Matson, S. Liu, N. A. Aghamiri, J. H, Edgar, R. F. Haglund, Jr., Y. Abate and J. D. Caldwell

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Jul 25, 2018
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Received: 28th June 18

Metasurfaces control light propagation at the nanoscale for applications in both free-space and surface-confined geometries. However, recent designs have demonstrated concepts using geometrically fixed structures, or used materials with excessive propagation losses, thereby limiting potential applications. Here we overcome these limitations by demonstrating a reconfigurable hyperbolic metasurface comprised of a heterostructure of isotopically enriched hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) in direct contact with the phase-change material (PCM) single crystal vanadium dioxide (VO2). Metallic and dielectric domains in VO2 provide spatially localized changes in the local dielectric environment to tune the wavelength of hyperbolic phonon polaritons (HPhPs) supported in hBN by a factor of 1.6. We demonstrate the first realization of HPhP refraction and the means for launching, reflecting and transmitting of HPhPs at the PCM domain boundaries. This approach offers reconfigurable control of in-plane HPhP propagation at the nanoscale and  exemplifies a generalizable framework based on combining hyperbolic media and PCMs to design new optical functionalities including resonant cavities, beam steering and waveguiding.

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