Main content area

Enabling single-mode behavior over large areas with photonic Dirac cones

Bravo-Abad, Jorge, Joannopoulos, John D., Soljačić, Marin
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012 v.109 no.25 pp. 9761-9765
energy, graphene, lasers, photonics
Many of graphene’s unique electronic properties emerge from its Dirac-like electronic energy spectrum. Similarly, it is expected that a nanophotonic system featuring Dirac dispersion (two conical bands touching at a single point, the so-called Dirac point) will open a path to a number of important research avenues. To date, however, all proposed realizations of a photonic analog of graphene lack fully omnidirectional out-of-plane light confinement, which has prevented creating truly realistic implementations of this class of systems able to mimic the two-dimensional transport properties of graphene. Here we report on a novel route to achieve all-dielectric three-dimensional photonic materials featuring Dirac-like dispersion in a quasi-two-dimensional system. We further discuss how this finding could enable a dramatic enhancement of the spontaneous emission coupling efficiency (the β-factor) over large areas, defying the common wisdom that the β-factor degrades rapidly as the size of the system increases. These results might enable general new classes of large-area ultralow-threshold lasers, single-photon sources, quantum information processing devices and energy harvesting systems.