Tunable Planar Focusing Based on Hyperbolic Phonon Polaritons in alpha-MoO3

Yunpeng Qu, Na Chen, Hanchao Teng, Hai Hu*, Jianzhe Sun, Renwen Yu, Debo Hu, Mengfei Xue, Chi Li, Bin Wu, Jianing Chen, Zhipei Sun, Mengkun Liu, Yunqi Liu, F. Javier García de Abajo, Qing Dai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
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Manipulation of the propagation and energy-transport characteristics of sub-wavelength infrared (IR) light fields is critical for the application of nanophotonic devices in photocatalysis, biosensing, and thermal management. In this context, metamaterials are useful composite materials, although traditional metal-based structures are constrained by their weak mid-IR response, while their associated capabilities for optical propagation and focusing are limited by the size of attainable artificial optical structures and the poor performance of the available active means of control. Herein, a tunable planar focusing device operating in the mid-IR region is reported by exploiting highly oriented in-plane hyperbolic phonon polaritons in alpha-MoO3. Specifically, an unprecedented change of effective focal length of polariton waves from 0.7 to 7.4 mu m is demonstrated by the following three different means of control: the dimension of the device, the employed light frequency, and engineering of phonon-plasmon hybridization. The high confinement characteristics of phonon polaritons in alpha-MoO3 permit the focal length and focal spot size to be reduced to 1/15 and 1/33 of the incident wavelength, respectively. In particular, the anisotropic phonon polaritons supported in alpha-MoO3 are combined with tunable surface-plasmon polaritons in graphene to realize in situ and dynamical control of the focusing performance, thus paving the way for phonon-polariton-based planar nanophotonic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2105590
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number23
Early online date27 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • hyperbolic materials
  • phonon polaritons
  • planar subwavelength focusing
  • tunable focusing
  • α-MoO


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