Nearfield Polariton-Matter Interactions in Nanostructures
Once light is confined to nanostructures, its properties tend to change dramatically compared to free-space photons. Matured examples include photonic crystals, optical cavities, and metasurfaces, each created technological impact not only by manipulating light itself, but also by manipulating light-matter interactions. Confined light enhances the speed at which energy is transferred between light and matter according to the Purcell effect, enabling improved solar cells, control over light-emission processes, and most of the current quantum technologies. In the optical range, these abilities came about by performing nanofabrication on dielectric or metallic materials, to determine unique optical boundary conditions, enhance quality factors of optical cavities, and reduce the optical mode volume. However, there are a set of recently discovered optical modes that possess reduced wavelength compared to their free-space counterpart at the same frequency, by factors of hundreds, and without any cavity. These optical modes are polaritons in two-dimensional materials.
In my talk, I will present the unique light-matter interactions between 2D-polaritons and semiconductor electrons or free-electrons. Specifically, how the extremely large momentum of the 2D polaritons gave rise to a new set of rules for light emission from semiconductors, how we applied the developed techniques into alternative geometries (non-polaritonic) to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of X-ray detectors, and finally, I will present a set of experiments that utilized the interaction between 2D polaritons and free-electrons to measure ultrafast polaritonic phenomena for the first time, such as polariton wavepacket propagation and the creation of polaritonic vortices.
Ph.D. Under the supervision of Professor Ido Kaminer.