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Colloquium | Nanoscience and Technology Division

Crafting Light at the Nanoscale with 2-D Materials and Metasurfaces

NST Colloquium

Abstract: Controlling light at the nanoscale is critical in many frontiers of physical science. In this talk, I will discuss two very different systems — silver metasurfaces and two-dimensional (2-D) semiconductors — that each offer unprecedented opportunities to mold light at a deep subwavelength level. To begin, we will show that by carving nanoscale structures, or metasurfaces, into single-crystalline silver films, we can dramatically modify the optical properties of light that moves on the silver surface. These metasurfaces exhibit a plethora of phenomena not found in ordinary optical materials, including hyperbolic dispersion, diffraction-free propagation, and optical spin-orbit coupling. Then, we will switch materials platforms and discuss the unique optical properties of transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDs) monolayers and show that even at a single monolayer thickness TMDs can become a highly reflective, electronically switchable mirror. Lastly, we will bring the two platforms together — silver films and TMDs — to uncover new optical resonances in the TMDs. We will also discuss how these areas connect to our ongoing research in networking quantum systems at the University of Chicago.