Science Frontier

Review paper on interface nano-optics by Li Peining and his collaborators published in Nature

Sep 17, 2021

On September 8th, a review paper titled Interface nano-optics with van der Waals polaritons was published in Nature by an international team, including Prof. Li Peining’s research team at Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics and the School of Optical and Electronic Information, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. The review is a collaborative work with Prof. Qiu Cheng-Wei from the National University of Singapore, and Prof. Andrea Alù from City University of New York. This review provides an overview of recent progress of exploiting the concept of interface nano-optics for the control of polaritons in van der Waals materials, and also offers an outlook for manipulating strong light–matter interactions for advanced nanophotonic and opto-electronic applications.

Fig.1     Meta-optics based on polaritonic vdW nanostructures and heterostructures

Polaritons are hybrid excitations of matter and photons. In recent years, polaritons in van der Waals nanomaterials—known as van der Waals polaritons—have shown great promise to guide the flow of light at the nanoscale over spectral regions ranging from the visible to the terahertz. In this review article, the international team discusses the state-of-the-art and opportunities for controlling the propagation of nanolight (in form of polaritons) in van der Waals materials with the help of classical refractive optics concepts, meta-optics and moire engineering. This enhanced control over van der Waals polaritons at the nanoscale has not only unveiled many new phenomena, but has also inspired valuable applications—including new avenues for nano-imaging, sensing, on-chip optical circuitry, and potentially many others in the years to come.

Prof. Li Peining’s group has been dedicated to research on polaritons for years. So far, the group has published 1 paper in Science, 2 papers in Nature, 1 paper in Nature Materials, and 2 papers in Nature Communications. Prof. Qiu Cheng-Wei Qiu at the National University of Singapore and Prof.Andrea Alù of City University of New York are the corresponding authors of the review article. Prof. Li Peining and his doctoral student, Ma Weiliang, under Huazhong University of Science and Technology participated in the writing of the review.

DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03581-5


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