Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Nanophotonics 2017; 6(6): 1239–1262



Open access

DOI 10.1515/nanoph-2016-0137


In this paper, we review and discuss how the recently discovered two-dimensional (2D) Dirac materials, particularly graphene, may be utilized as new efficient platforms for excitations of propagating and localized surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) in the terahertz (THz) and mid-infrared (MIR) regions. The surface plasmon modes supported by the metallic 2D materials exhibit tunable plasmon resonances that are essential, yet missing, ingredients needed for THz and MIR photonic and optoelectronic devices. We describe how the atomically thin graphene monolayer and metamaterial structures based on it may tailor and control the spectral, spatial, and temporal properties of electromagnetic radiation. In the same frequency range, the newly unveiled nonlocal, nonlinear, and nonequilibrium electrodynamics in graphene show a variety of nonlinear and amplifying electromagnetic responses, whose potential applications are yet unexplored. With these 2D material platforms, virtually all plasmonic, optoelectronic, and nonlinear functions found in near-infrared (NIR) and visible devices can be analogously transferred to the long-wavelength regime, even with enhanced tunability and new functionalities. The spectral range from THz to MIR is particularly compelling because of the many spectral fingerprints of key chemical, gas, and biological agents, as well as a myriad of remote sensing, imaging, communication, and security applications.