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Journal Article

Mid infrared polarization engineering via sub-wavelength biaxial hyperbolic van der Waals crystals


Mall,  A.
Laboratory of Optics of Quantum Materials, Department of Physics, IIT Bombay;
Computational Nanoscale Imaging, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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Dixit, S., Sahoo, N. R., Mall, A., & Kumar, A. (2021). Mid infrared polarization engineering via sub-wavelength biaxial hyperbolic van der Waals crystals. Scientific Reports, 11: 6612. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-86056-x.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-6A4B-E
Mid-infrared (IR) spectral region is of immense importance for astronomy, medical diagnosis, security and imaging due to the existence of the vibrational modes of many important molecules in this spectral range. Therefore, there is a particular interest in miniaturization and integration of IR optical components. To this end, 2D van der Waals (vdW) crystals have shown great potential owing to their ease of integration with other optoelectronic platforms and room temperature operation. Recently, 2D vdW crystals of α-MoO3 and α-V2O5 have been shown to possess the unique phenomenon of natural in-plane biaxial hyperbolicity in the mid-infrared frequency regime at room temperature. Here, we report a unique application of this in-plane hyperbolicity for designing highly efficient, lithography free and extremely subwavelength mid-IR photonic devices for polarization engineering. In particular, we show the possibility of a significant reduction in the device footprint while maintaining an enormous extinction ratio from α-MoO3 and α-V2 O5 based mid-IR polarizers. Furthermore, we investigate the application of sub-wavelength thin films of these vdW crystals towards engineering the polarization state of incident mid-IR light via precise control of polarization rotation, ellipticity and relative phase. We explain our results using natural in-plane hyperbolic anisotropy of α-MoO3 and α-V2 O5 via both analytical and full-wave electromagnetic simulations. This work provides a lithography free alternative for miniaturized mid-infrared photonic devices using the hyperbolic anisotropy of α-MoO3 and α-V2 O5.