Enhanced Interaction of Optical Phonons in h-BN with Plasmonic Lattice and Cavity Modes

Xianglian Song, Sina Abedini Dereshgi, Edgar Palacios, Yuanjiang Xiang, Koray Aydin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is regarded as a milestone in the investigation of light interaction with phonon polaritons in two-dimensional van der Waals materials, showing significant potential in novel and high-efficient photonics devices in the mid-infrared region. Here, we investigate a structure composed of Au-grating arrays fabricated onto a Fabry-Perot (FP) cavity composed of h-BN, Ge, and Au back-reflector layers. The plasmonic FP cavity reduces the required device thickness by enhancing modal interactions and introduces in-plane polarization sensitivity based on the Au array lattice. Our experiments show multiple absorption peaks of over 90% in the mid-infrared region and the band stop filters with 80% efficiency using only a 15 nm h-BN slab. Moreover, mode interaction with experimental coupling strengths as high as 10.8 meV in the mid-infrared region is investigated. In particular, the interaction and hybridization of optical phonon modes with plasmonic modes including the lattice and cavity modes are studied. Anticrossing splitting ascribed to the coupling of optical phonons to plasmonic modes can be tuned by the designed geometry which can be tailored to efficient response band engineering for infrared photonics. We also show that in practical applications involving wet transfer of h-BN thin films, the contribution of minor optical phonon modes to resonant peaks should not be ignored, which originate from defects and multicrystallinity in the h-BN slab. Our findings provide a favorable complement to manipulation of light-phonon interaction, inspiring a promising design of phonon-based nanophotonic devices in the infrared range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • coupling enhancement
  • hexagonal boron nitride
  • mode interaction
  • optical phonons
  • phonon polaritons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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