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Surface Polariton-Like s-Polarized Waveguide Modes in Switchable Dielectric Thin-Films on Polar Crystals

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Paßler,  Nikolai
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Paarmann,  Alexander
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Paßler, N., Heßler, A., Wuttig, M., Taubner, T., & Paarmann, A. (2020). Surface Polariton-Like s-Polarized Waveguide Modes in Switchable Dielectric Thin-Films on Polar Crystals. Advanced Optical Materials, 8(5): 1901056. doi:10.1002/adom.201901056.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-E9C1-C
Abstract
Surface phonon polaritons (SPhP) and surface plasmon polaritons (SPP), evanescent modes supported by media with negative permittivity, are a fundamental building block of nanophotonics. These modes are unmatched in terms of field enhancement and spatial confinement, and dynamical all-optical control can be achieved e.g. by employing phase-change materials (PCMs). However, the excitation of surface polaritons in planar structures is intrinsically limited to p-polarization. On the contrary, waveguide modes in high-permittivity films can couple to both p- and s-polarized light, and in thin films, their confinement can become comparable to surface polaritons. Here we demonstrate that the s-polarized waveguide mode in a thin Ge3Sb2Te6 (GST) film features a similar dispersion, confinement, and electric field enhancement as the SPhP mode of the silicon carbide (SiC) substrate, while even expanding the allowed frequency range. Moreover, we experimentally show that switching the GST film grants non-volatile control over the SPhP and the waveguide mode dispersions. We provide an analytical model for the description of the GST/SiC waveguide mode and show that our concept is applicable to the broad variety of polar crystals throughout the infrared spectral range. As such, complementarily to the polarization-limited surface polaritons, the s-polarized PCM waveguide mode constitutes a promising additional building block for nanophotonic applications.