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*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 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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