Phase-Change Hyperbolic Heterostructures for Nanopolaritonics: A Case Study of hBN/VO 2

Siyuan Dai, Jiawei Zhang, Qiong Ma, Salinporn Kittiwatanakul, Alex McLeod, Xinzhong Chen, Stephanie Gilbert Corder, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Jiwei Lu, Qing Dai, Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Mengkun Liu, D. N. Basov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Unlike conventional plasmonic media, polaritonic van der Waals (vdW) materials hold promise for active control of light–matter interactions. The dispersion relations of elementary excitations such as phonons and plasmons can be tuned in layered vdW systems via stacking using functional substrates. In this work, infrared nanoimaging and nanospectroscopy of hyperbolic phonon polaritons are demonstrated in a novel vdW heterostructure combining hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and vanadium dioxide (VO 2 ). It is observed that the insulator-to-metal transition in VO 2 has a profound impact on the polaritons in the proximal hBN layer. In effect, the real-space propagation of hyperbolic polaritons and their spectroscopic resonances can be actively controlled by temperature. This tunability originates from the effective change in local dielectric properties of the VO 2 sublayer in the course of the temperature-tuned insulator-to-metal phase transition. The high susceptibility of polaritons to electronic phase transitions opens new possibilities for applications of vdW materials in combination with strongly correlated quantum materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1900251
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 3 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.D. and J.Z. contributed equally to this work. Work at Columbia University on optical phenomena in vdW materials is supported by DOE-BES DE-FG02-00ER45799 and Betty Moore Foundation’s EPiQS Initiative through Grant GBMF4533. Q.M. and P.J.-H. were supported by the Center for Excitonics, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the DOE, Office of Science, BES under Award Number DESC0001088 and AFOSR Grant FA9550-16-1-0382, as well as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s EPiQS Initiative through Grant GBMF4541 to P.J.-H.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • hexagonal boron nitride
  • phase-change materials
  • polaritons


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