Low-Loss and Tunable Localized Mid-Infrared Plasmons in Nanocrystals of Highly Degenerate InN

Plasmonic response of free charges confined in nanostructures of plasmonic materials is a powerful means for manipulating the light-material interaction at the nanoscale and hence has influence on various relevant technologies. In particular, plasmonic materials responsive in the mid-infrared range are technologically important as the mid-infrared is home to the vibrational resonance of molecules and also thermal radiation of hot objects. However, the development of the field is practically challenged with the lack of low-loss materials supporting high quality plasmons in this range of the spectrum. Here, we demonstrate that degenerately doped InN nanocrystals (NCs) support tunable and low-loss plasmon resonance spanning the entire midwave infrared range. Modulating free-carrier concentration is achieved by engineering nitrogen-vacancy defects (InN1–x, 0.017 < x < 0.085) in highly degenerate NCs using a nonequilibrium gas-phase growth process. Despite the significant reduction in the carrier mobility relative to intrinsic InN, the mobility in degenerate InN NCs (>60 cm2/(V s)) remains considerably higher than the carrier mobility reported for other materials NCs such as doped metal oxides, chalcogenides, and noble metals. These findings demonstrate feasibility of controlled tuning of infrared plasmon resonances in a low-loss material of III–V compounds and open a gateway to further studies of these materials nanostructures for infrared plasmonic applications.