Active control of dielectric singularities in indium-tin-oxides hyperbolic metamaterials

Alessandro Pianelli, Vincenzo Caligiuri, Michał Dudek, Rafał Kowerdziej, Urszula Chodorow, Karol Sielezin, Antonio De Luca, Roberto Caputo, Janusz Parka

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Dielectric singularities (DSs) constitute one of the most exotic features occurring in the effective permittivity of artificial multilayers called hyperbolic metamaterials (HMMs). Associated to DSs, a rich phenomenology arises that justifies the ever-increasing interest profuse by the photonic community in achieving an active control of their properties. As an example, the possibility to “canalize” light down to the nanoscale as well as the capability of HMMs to interact with quantum emitters, placed in their proximity, enhancing their emission rate (Purcell effect), are worth mentioning. HMMs, however, suffer of an intrinsic lack of tunability of its DSs. Several architectures have been proposed to overcome this limit and, among them, the use of graphene outstands. Graphene-based HMMs recently shown outstanding canalization capabilities achieving λ/1660 light collimation. Despite the exceptional performances promised by these structures, stacking graphene/oxide multilayers is still an experimental challenge, especially envisioning electrical gating of all the graphene layers. In this paper, we propose a valid alternative in which indium-tin-oxide (ITO) is used as an electrically tunable metal. Here we have numerically designed and analyzed an ITO/SiO2 based HMM with a tunable canalization wavelength within the range between 1.57 and 2.74 μm. The structure feature light confinement of λ/8.8 (resolution of about 178 nm), self-focusing of the light down to 0.26 μm and Purcell factor of approximately 700. The proposed HMM nanoarchitecture could be potentially used in many applications, such as ultra-fast signal processing, high harmonic generation, lab-on-a-chip nanodevices, bulk plasmonic waveguides in integrated photonic circuits and laser diode collimators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16961
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • epsilon-near-zero-and-pole
  • Purcell factor
  • Photonic density of states (PDOS)
  • High resolution
  • Canalization of light

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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