Adiabatically tapered hyperbolic metamaterials for dispersion control of high-K waves

Paul R. West, Nathaniel Kinsey, Marcello Ferrera, Alexander V. Kildishev, Vladimir M. Shalaev, Alexandra Boltasseva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Hyperbolic metamaterials (HMMs) have shown great promise in the optical and quantum communities due to their extremely large, broadband photonic density of states. This feature is a direct consequence of supporting photonic modes with unbounded k-vectors. While these materials support such high-k waves, they are intrinsically confined inside the HMM and cannot propagate into the far-field, rendering them impractical for many applications. Here, we demonstrate how the magnitude of k-vectors can be engineered as the propagating radiation passes through media of differing dispersion relations (including type II HMMs and dielectrics) in the in-plane direction. The total outcoupling efficiency of waves in the in-plane direction is shown to be on average 2 orders of magnitude better than standard out-of-plane outcoupling methods. In addition, the outcoupling can be further enhanced using a proposed tapered HMM waveguide that is fabricated using a shadowed glancing angle deposition technique; thereby proving the feasibility of the proposed device. Applications for this technique include converting high-k waves to low-k waves that can be out-coupled into free-space and creating extremely high-k waves that are quickly quenched. Most importantly, this method of in-plane outcoupling acts as a bridge through which waves can cross between the regimes of low-k waves in classical dielectric materials and the high-k waves in HMMs with strongly reduced reflective losses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-505
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2015


  • glancing angle deposition
  • hyperbolic metamaterials
  • Metamaterials
  • plasmonics
  • purcell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

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