Nonlocal response of hyperbolic metasurfaces

D. Correas-Serrano, Juan Sebastian Gomez Diaz, M. Tymchenko, A. Alù

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We analyze and model the nonlocal response of ultrathin hyperbolic metasurfaces (HMTSs) by applying an effective medium approach. We show that the intrinsic spatial dispersion in the materials employed to realize the metasurfaces imposes a wavenumber cutoff on the hyperbolic isofrequency contour, inversely proportional to the Fermi velocity, and we compare it with the cutoff arising from the structure granularity. In the particular case of HTMSs implemented by an array of graphene nanostrips, we find that graphene nonlocality can become the dominant mechanism that closes the hyperbolic contour-imposing a wavenumber cutoff at around 300 0 k-in realistic configurations with periodicity L <φ/ (300k0 ) , thus providing a practical design rule to implement HMTSs at THz and infrared frequencies. In contrast, more common plasmonic materials, such as noble metals, operate at much higher frequencies, and therefore their intrinsic nonlocal response is mainly relevant in hyperbolic metasurfaces and metamaterials with periodicity below a few nm, being very weak in practical scenarios. In addition, we investigate how spatial dispersion affects the spontaneous emission rate of emitters located close to HMTSs. Our results establish an upper bound set by nonlocality to the maximum field confinement and light-matter interactions achievable in practical HMTSs, and may find application in the practical development of hyperlenses, sensors and on-chip networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29434-29448
Number of pages15
JournalOptics Express
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 16 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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