The Role of Optical Phonon Confinement in the Infrared Dielectric Response of III–V Superlattices

Joseph R. Matson, Md Nazmul Alam, Georgios Varnavides, Patrick Sohr, Sean Knight, Vanya Darakchieva, Megan Stokey, Mathias Schubert, Ayman Said, Thomas Beechem, Prineha Narang, Stephanie Law, Joshua D. Caldwell

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Polar dielectrics are key materials of interest for infrared (IR) nanophotonic applications due to their ability to host phonon-polaritons that allow for low-loss, subdiffractional control of light. The properties of phonon-polaritons are limited by the characteristics of optical phonons, which are nominally fixed for most “bulk” materials. Superlattices composed of alternating atomically thin materials offer control over crystal anisotropy through changes in composition, optical phonon confinement, and the emergence of new modes. In particular, the modified optical phonons in superlattices offer the potential for so-called crystalline hybrids whose IR properties cannot be described as a simple mixture of the bulk constituents. To date, however, studies have primarily focused on identifying the presence of new or modified optical phonon modes rather than assessing their impact on the IR response. This study focuses on assessing the impact of confined optical phonon modes on the hybrid IR dielectric function in superlattices of GaSb and AlSb. Using a combination of first principles theory, Raman, FTIR, and spectroscopic ellipsometry, the hybrid dielectric function is found to track the confinement of optical phonons, leading to optical phonon spectral shifts of up to 20 cm−1. These results provide an alternative pathway toward designer IR optical materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2305106
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 18 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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