Photonic spin Hall effect in hyperbolic metamaterials for polarization-controlled routing of subwavelength modes

Polina V. Kapitanova, Pavel Ginzburg*, Francisco J. Rodriguez-Fortuno, Dmitry S. Filonov, Pavel M. Voroshilov, Pavel A. Belov, Alexander N. Poddubny, Yuri S. Kivshar, Gregory A. Wurtz, Anatoly V. Zayats

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Citations (Scopus)


The routing of light in a deep subwavelength regime enables a variety of important applications in photonics, quantum information technologies, imaging and biosensing. Here we describe and experimentally demonstrate the selective excitation of spatially confined, subwavelength electromagnetic modes in anisotropic metamaterials with hyperbolic dispersion. A localized, circularly polarized emitter placed at the boundary of a hyperbolic metamaterial is shown to excite extraordinary waves propagating in a prescribed direction controlled by the polarization handedness. Thus, a metamaterial slab acts as an extremely broadband, nearly ideal polarization beam splitter for circularly polarized light. We perform a proof of concept experiment with a uniaxial hyperbolic metamaterial at radio-frequencies revealing the directional routing effect and strong subwavelength lambda/300 confinement. The proposed concept of metamaterial-based subwavelength interconnection and polarization-controlled signal routing is based on the photonic spin Hall effect and may serve as an ultimate platform for either conventional or quantum electromagnetic signal processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3226
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Early online date14 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2014




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