Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is a 2D material that supports traveling waves composed of material vibrations and light, and is attractive for nanoscale optical devices that function in the infrared. However, the only current method of launching these traveling waves requires the use of a metal nanostructure. Here, we show that the polaritonic waves can be launched into the 2D structure by folds within hBN, alone, taking advantage of the intrinsic material properties. Our findings suggest that structural continuity between the fold and hBN crystal is crucial for creating self-launched waves with a constant phase front. This approach offers a single material system to excite the polaritonic modes, and the approach is applicable to a broad range of 2D crystals and thus could be useful in future characterization.
Gilburd, L., Kim, K. S., Ho, K., Trajanoski, D., Maiti, A., Halverson, D., ... Walker, G. C. (2017). Hexagonal Boron Nitride Self-Launches Hyperbolic Phonon Polaritons. Journal of physical chemistry letters, 8(10), 2158–2162 . https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b00748