Scanning probe optical microscopy offers access to material properties beyond the fundamental diffraction limit in conventional optics. In this talk, I will start by introducing nano-spectroscopic material identification - nano-fingerprinting. Nanoscale composition and heterogeneity of a range of materials, including natural specimens and biomedical devices, can be delicately identified without perturbation. Furthermore, scanning probe optics facilitates the investigation of nanoscale light-matter interactions in quantum materials. A representative topic is the study of confined light-matter waves - polaritons - in van der Waals (vdW) materials. Using the nano-optical apparatus, we have studied various polaritons in vdW materials and their heterostructures, showing unique nanophotonic virtues in reduced dimensions. Notably, weak vertical bonding in vdW systems allows the engineering of hybrid polaritons in heterostructures. Nano-optical responses can be tailored on demand by stacking, twisting, microstructuring, and isotope heterostructuring of the constituent vdW layers.
Speaker: Siyuan Dai, Auburn University
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