Cortes, Cristian L., and Zubin Jacob. 2017. “Super-Coulombic atom–atom interactions in hyperbolic media”. Nature Communications 8.

Dipole–dipole interactions, which govern phenomena such as cooperative Lamb shifts, superradiant decay rates, Van der Waals forces and resonance energy transfer rates, are conventionally limited to the Coulombic near-field. Here we reveal a class of real-photon and virtual-photon long-range quantum electrodynamic interactions that have a singularity in media with hyperbolic dispersion. The singularity in the dipole–dipole coupling, referred to as a super-Coulombic interaction, is a result of an effective interaction distance that goes to zero in the ideal limit irrespective of the physical distance. We investigate the entire landscape of atom–atom interactions in hyperbolic media confirming the giant long-range enhancement. We also propose multiple experimental platforms to verify our predicted effect with phonon–polaritonic hexagonal boron nitride, plasmonic super-lattices and hyperbolic meta-surfaces as well. Our work paves the way for the control of cold atoms above hyperbolic meta-surfaces and the study of many-body physics with hyperbolic media.

Huang, Jijie, Xuejing Wang, Nicki L. Hogan, Shengxiang Wu, Ping Lu, Zhe Fan, Yaomin Dai, et al. 2018. “Nanoscale Artificial Plasmonic Lattice in Self-Assembled Vertically Aligned Nitride–Metal Hybrid Metamaterials”. Advanced Science.

Nanoscale metamaterials exhibit extraordinary optical properties and are proposed for various technological applications. Here, a new class of novel nanoscale two-phase hybrid metamaterials is achieved by combining two major classes of traditional plasmonic materials, metals (e.g., Au) and transition metal nitrides (e.g., TaN, TiN, and ZrN) in an epitaxial thin film form via the vertically aligned nanocomposite platform. By properly controlling the nucleation of the two phases, the nanoscale artificial plasmonic lattices (APLs) consisting of highly ordered hexagonal close packed Au nanopillars in a TaN matrix are demonstrated. More specifically, uniform Au nanopillars with an average diameter of 3 nm are embedded in epitaxial TaN platform and thus form highly 3D ordered APL nanoscale metamaterials. Novel optical properties include highly anisotropic reflectance, obvious nonlinear optical properties indicating inversion symmetry breaking of the hybrid material, large permittivity tuning and negative permittivity response over a broad wavelength regime, and superior mechanical strength and ductility. The study demonstrates the novelty of the new hybrid plasmonic scheme with great potentials in versatile material selection, and, tunable APL spacing and pillar dimension, all important steps toward future designable hybrid plasmonic materials.

Newman, Ward D., Cristian L. Cortes, Amir Afshar, Ken Cadien, Al Meldrum, Robert Fedosejevs, and Zubin Jacob. 2018. “Observation of long-range dipole-dipole interactions in hyperbolic metamaterials”. Science Advances 4 (10).

Dipole-dipole interactions (Vdd) between closely spaced atoms and molecules are related to real photon and virtual photon exchange between them and decrease in the near field connected with the characteristic Coulombic dipole field law. The control and modification of this marked scaling with distance have become a long-standing theme in quantum engineering since dipole-dipole interactions govern Van der Waals forces, collective Lamb shifts, atom blockade effects, and Förster resonance energy transfer. We show that metamaterials can fundamentally modify these interactions despite large physical separation between interacting quantum emitters. We demonstrate a two orders of magnitude increase in the near-field resonant dipole-dipole interactions at intermediate field distances (10 times the near field) and observe the distance scaling law consistent with a super-Coulombic interaction theory curtailed only by absorption and finite size effects of the metamaterial constituents. We develop a first-principles numerical approach of many-body dipole-dipole interactions in metamaterials to confirm our theoretical predictions and experimental observations. In marked distinction to existing approaches of engineering radiative interactions, our work paves the way for controlling long-range dipole-dipole interactions using hyperbolic metamaterials and natural hyperbolic two-dimensional materials.

Shekhar, Prashant, Sarang Pendharker, Harshad Sahasrabudhe, Douglas Vick, Marek Malac, Rajib Rahman, and Zubin Jacob. 2018. “Extreme ultraviolet plasmonics and Cherenkov radiation in silicon”. Optica 5 (12): 1590-96.

Silicon is widely used as the material of choice for semiconductor and insulator applications in nanoelectronics, micro-electro-mechanical systems, solar cells, and on-chip photonics. In stark contrast, in this paper, we explore silicon’s metallic properties and show that it can support propagating surface plasmons, collective charge oscillations, in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) energy regime not possible with other plasmonic materials such as aluminum, silver, or gold. This is fundamentally different from conventional approaches, where doping semiconductors is considered necessary to observe plasmonic behavior. We experimentally map the photonic band structure of EUV surface and bulk plasmons in silicon using momentum-resolved electron energy loss spectroscopy. Our experimental observations are validated by macroscopic electrodynamic electron energy loss theory simulations as well as quantum density functional theory calculations. As an example of exploiting these EUV plasmons for applications, we propose a tunable and broadband thresholdless Cherenkov radiation source in the EUV using silicon plasmonic metamaterials. Our work can pave the way for the field of EUV plasmonics.

Jacob, Zubin. 2012. “Quantum Plasmonics”. MRS Bulletin 37 (8): 761-67.

Surface plasmon polaritons, combined excitations of light and free electrons of a metal, have emerged as an alternative information carrier for nanoscale circuitry due to their ability to confine light far below the size of the wavelength. They hold the potential to act as a revolutionary bridge between current diffraction-limited microphotonics and bandwidth-limited nanoelectronics. Interestingly, the nanoscale confinement achievable by plasmons also increases the interaction with quantum emitters, paving the way for quantum applications. Exotic non-classical properties of light such as entanglement and squeezing can be embedded into plasmons and faithfully transmitted and received. Recently, it was also shown that unique coupled plasmonic excitations can be engineered on the nanoscale with artificial media (metamaterials) to enhance and control light-matter interaction. A major departure from the conventional classical description of the plasmon is under development. The aim is to incorporate the “wave” nature of matter manifested in ultra-small metallic nanoparticles and the “particle” nature of light, which can play a role in future integrated circuits with capabilities of quantum information processing. This article reviews developments in the field of quantum nanophotonics, an exciting frontier of plasmonic applications ranging from single photon sources and quantum information transfer to single molecule sensing.