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Chiral Optical Nano-Cavity with Atomically Thin Mirrors


A fundamental requirement for photonic technologies is the ability to control the confinement and propagation of light. Widely utilized platforms include two-dimensional (2D) optical microcavities in which electromagnetic waves are confined between either metallic or multi-layer dielectric distributed Bragg reflectors. However, the fabrication complexities of thick Bragg reflectors and high losses in metallic mirrors have motivated the quest for efficient and compact mirrors. Recently, 2D transition metal dichalcogenides hosting tightly bound excitons with high optical quality have emerged as promising atomically thin mirrors. In this work, we propose and experimentally demonstrate a sub-wavelength 2D nano-cavity using two atomically thin mirrors with degenerate resonances. Remarkably, we show how the excitonic nature of the mirrors enables the formation of chiral and tunable optical modes upon the application of an external magnetic field. Moreover, temperature-dependent reflectance measurements indicate robustness and tunability up to ≈100 K for the device. Our work establishes a new regime for engineering intrinsically chiral sub-wavelength optical cavities and opens avenues for realizing spin-photon interfaces and exploring chiral many-body cavity electrodynamics.

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