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Light defies geometry in near-zero-index media

Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - 12:00
Donostia International Physics Center
Iñigo Liberal, Universidad Publica de Navarra
Source Name: 

media and metamaterials with a near-zero refractive index (NZI media) provide
alternative pathways for the control and manipulation of light-matter
interactions.  The exotic behavior of NZI media is rooted in the fact that
the wavelength gets effectively stretched as the refractive index vanishes.
This allows for pathological solutions to the wave equation,
including   spatially static field distributions which nevertheless
dynamically oscillate in time. This paradoxical behavior gives access to a
regime of qualitatively different wave dynamics, where the importance of the
geometry is lessened, and certain observables are invariant with respect to
geometrical deformations, even including changes in the topology of the system.

In this
talk, I’ll review and discuss some of the geometry-invariant phenomena related
to near-zero-index media. Examples will include: (i) transmission (tunneling)
of waves through deformed waveguides. (ii) Unconventional resonators supporting
modes whose eigenfrequency is independent of the geometry of their external
boundary. (iii) Violation of effective medium theory geometrical restrictions,
enabling, for example, single unit-cell metamaterials. (iv) Existence of bound
states in open 3D compact resonators with arbitrarily shaped boundaries.
Different technological applications and implementations of these concepts will
be discussed.


Liberal and N. Engheta, “Near-zero refractive index photonics,” Nat. Photonics,
vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 149–158, 2017.

Liberal, A. M. Mahmoud, and N. Engheta, “Geometry-Invariant Resonant Cavities,”
Nat. Commun., vol. 7, p. 10989, 2016.

Liberal, A. M. Mahmoud, Y. Li, B. Edwards, and N. Engheta, “Photonic doping of
epsilon-near-zero media,” Science, vol. 355, pp. 1058–1062, 2017.

I. Liberal and N. Engheta,
“Zero-index structures as an alternative platform for quantum optics,” Proc.
Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 114, no. 5, pp. 822–827, 2017.

I. Liberal and N. Engheta,
“Nonradiating and radiating modes excited by quantum emitters in open
epsilon-near-zero cavities,” Sci. Adv., vol. 2, no. 10, p. e1600987, 2016.

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