Anisotropic Plasmonic CuS Nanocrystals as a Natural Electronic Material with Hyperbolic Optical Dispersion

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Copper sulfide nanocrystals have recently been studied due to their metal-like behavior and strong plasmonic response, which make them an attractive material for nanophotonic applications in the near-infrared spectral range; however, the nature of the plasmonic response remains unclear. We have performed a combined experimental and theoretical study of the optical properties of copper sulfide colloidal nanocrystals and show that bulk CuS resembles a heavily doped p-type semiconductor with a very anisotropic energy band structure. As a consequence, CuS nanoparticles possess key properties of relevance to nanophotonics applications: they exhibit anisotropic plasmonic behavior in the infrared and support optical modes with hyperbolic dispersion in the 670-1050 nm spectral range. We also predict that the ohmic loss is low compared to conventional plasmonic materials such as noble metals in the NIR. The plasmonic resonances can be tuned by controlling the size and shape of the nanocrystals, providing a playground for future nanophotonic applications in the near-infrared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6550-6560
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
Early online date22 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019


  • anisotropic plasmonic
  • colloidal nanocrystals
  • hyperbolic dispersion
  • localized surface plasmons
  • plasmonics


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