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We predict the existence of low-frequency nonlocal plasmons at the vacuum-surface interface of a superlattice of N graphene layers interacting with conducting substrate. We derive a dispersion function that incorporates the polarization function of both the graphene monolayers and the semi-infinite electron liquid at whose surface the electrons scatter specularly. We find a surface plasmon-polariton that is not damped by particle-hole excitations or the bulk modes and which separates below the continuum mini-band of bulk plasmon modes. The surface plasmon frequency of the hybrid structure always lies below s = p/ 2, the surface plasmon frequency of the conducting substrate. The intensity of this mode depends on the distance of the graphene layers from the conductor’s surface, the energy band gap between valence and conduction bands of graphene monolayer and, most importantly, on the number of two-dimensional layers. For a sufficiently large number of layers (N 7) the hybrid structure has no surface plasmon. The existence of plasmons with different dispersion relations indicates that quasiparticles with different group velocity may coexist for various ranges of wavelengths determined by the number of layers in the superlattice.


This article was originally published in Scientific Reports, available at DOI: 10.1038/srep21063.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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