Enhanced Nonlinear Optical Effects in Drift-Biased Nonreciprocal Graphene Plasmonics

S. Ali Hassani Gangaraj, Boyuan Jin, Christos Argyropoulos, Francesco Monticone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonlinear light-matter interactions are typically enhanced by increasing the local field and its interaction time with matter. Conventional methods to achieve these goals are based on resonances or slow-light effects. However, these methods suffer from various issues including narrow operational bandwidths, large footprints, and material absorption. An interesting alternative approach to enhance the local field is offered by nonreciprocal systems: by blocking the path of a unidirectional wave in a terminated nonreciprocal waveguiding structure, broadband electromagnetic fields can be drastically enhanced and localized near the termination. This approach was previously studied only in three-dimensional gyrotropic material platforms, where the need for external magnets and bulky materials makes it less practical. Here, instead, we employ a magnet-free mechanism to break reciprocity in 2D plasmonic materials, e.g., graphene. Specifically, we employ high-speed drifting electrons on a voltage-biased graphene sheet to lift the forward/backward degeneracy of the surface plasmon-polariton dispersion, creating modes with different propagation properties parallel and antiparallel to the current. We show that controllable, asymmetric, and intense field hot-spots are generated at the edges of a suitably terminated graphene metasurface. We then theoretically demonstrate that such asymmetric field hot-spots offer an effective solution to enhance third-order nonlinear optical effects. As an example, we predict that, using realistic values of drift velocity, high third-harmonic conversion efficiencies of up to 0.3% are achievable around the plasmon resonance frequencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3858-3865
Number of pages8
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 15 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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