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Theses Doctoral

Electronic and plasmonic band structure engineering of graphene using superlattices

Li, Yutao

Patterning graphene with a spatially periodic potential provides a powerful means to modify its electronic properties. In particular, in twisted bilayers, coupling to the resulting moiré superlattice yields an isolated flat band that hosts correlated many-body phases. However, both the symmetry and strength of the effective moiré potential are constrained by the constituent crystals, limiting its tunability. Here, we have exploited the technique of dielectric patterning⁶ to subject graphene to a one-dimensional electrostatic superlattice (SL). We observed the emergence of multiple Dirac cones and found evidence that with increasing SL potential the main and satellite Dirac cones are sequentially flattened in the direction parallel to the SL basis vector, behavior resulting from the interaction between the one-dimensional SL electric potential and the massless Dirac fermions hosted by graphene. Our results demonstrate the ability to induce tunable anisotropy in high-mobility two-dimensional materials, a long-desired property for novel electronic and optical applications. Moreover, these findings offer a new approach to engineering flat energy bands where electron interactions can lead to emergent properties. The photon analog of electronic superlattice is photonic crystals. Efficient control of photons is enabled by hybridizing light with matter.

The resulting light-matter quasi-particles can be readily programmed by manipulating either their photonic or matter constituents. Here, we hybridized infrared photons with graphene Dirac electrons to form surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) and uncovered a previously unexplored means to control SPPs in structures with periodically modulated carrier density. In these photonic crystal structures, common SPPs with continuous dispersion are transformed into Bloch polaritons with attendant discrete bands separated by bandgaps. We explored directional Bloch polaritons and steered their propagation by dialing the proper gate voltage. Fourier analysis of the near-field images corroborates that this on-demand nano-optics functionality is rooted in the polaritonic band structure. Our programmable polaritonic platform paves the way for the much-sought benefits of on-the-chip photonic circuits.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Physics
Thesis Advisors
Dean, Cory Raymond
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 15, 2021