Meta-optics have rapidly become a major research field within the optics and photonics community, strongly driven by the seemingly limitless opportunities made possible by controlling optical wavefronts through interaction with arrays of sub-wavelength scatterers. As more and more modalities are explored, the design strategies to achieve desired functionalities become increasingly demanding, necessitating more advanced design techniques. Herein, the inverse-design approach is utilized to create a set of single-layer meta-optics that simultaneously focus light and shape the spectra of focused light without using any filters. Thus, both spatial and spectral properties of the meta-optics are optimized, resulting in spectra that mimic the color matching functions of the CIE 1931 XYZ color space, which links the distributions of wavelengths in light and the color perception of a human eye. Experimental demonstrations of these meta-optics show qualitative agreement with the theoretical predictions and help elucidate the focusing mechanism of these devices.
We introduce end-to-end inverse design for multi-channel imaging, in which a nanophotonic frontend is optimized in conjunction with an image-processing backend to extract depth, spectral and polarization channels from a single monochrome image. Unlike diffractive optics, we show that subwavelength-scale “metasurface” designs can easily distinguish similar wavelength and polarization inputs. The proposed technique integrates a single-layer metasurface frontend with an efficient Tikhonov reconstruction backend, without any additional optics except a grayscale sensor. Our method yields multi-channel imaging by spontaneous demultiplexing: the metaoptics front-end separates different channels into distinct spatial domains whose locations on the sensor are optimally discovered by the inverse-design algorithm. We present large-area metasurface designs, compatible with standard lithography, for multi-spectral imaging, depth-spectral imaging, and “all-in-one” spectro-polarimetric-depth imaging with robust reconstruction performance (≤10% error with 1% detector noise). In contrast to neural networks, our framework is physically interpretable and does not require large training sets. It can be used to reconstruct arbitrary three-dimensional scenes with full multi-wavelength spectra and polarization textures.
We present a semianalytical framework for computing the coupling of radiative and guided waves in slowly varying (nearly uniform or nearly periodic) surfaces, which is especially relevant to the exploitation of nonlocal effects in large-area metasurfaces. Our framework bridges a gap in the theory of slowly varying surfaces: aside from brute-force numerical simulations, current approximate methods can model either guided or radiative waves but cannot easily model their coupling. We solve this problem by combining two methods: the locally periodic approximation, which approximates radiative scattering by composing a set of periodic scattering problems, and spatial coupled-wave theory, which allows the perturbative modeling of guided waves using an eigenmode expansion. We derive our framework for both nearly uniform and nearly periodic surfaces, and we validate each case against brute-force finite-difference time-domain simulations, which show increasing agreement as the surface varies more slowly.
Conventional human-driven methods face limitations in designing complex functional metasurfaces. Inverse design is poised to empower metasurface research by embracing fast-growing artificial intelligence. In recent years, many research efforts have been devoted to enriching inverse design principles and applications. In this perspective, we review most commonly used metasurface inverse design strategies including topology optimization, evolutionary optimization, and machine learning techniques. We elaborate on their concepts and working principles, as well as examples of their implementations. We also discuss two emerging research trends: scaling up inverse design for large-area aperiodic metasurfaces and end-to-end inverse design that co-optimizes photonic hardware and post-image processing. Furthermore, recent demonstrations of inverse-designed metasurfaces showing great potential in real-world applications are highlighted. Finally, we discuss challenges in future inverse design advancement, suggest potential research directions, and outlook opportunities for implementing inverse design in nonlocal metasurfaces, reconfigurable metasurfaces, quantum optics, and nonlinear metasurfaces.
Deep neural operators can learn operators mapping between infinite-dimensional function spaces via deep neural networks and have become an emerging paradigm of scientific machine learning. However, training neural operators usually requires a large amount of high-fidelity data, which is often difficult to obtain in real engineering problems. Here, we address this challenge by using multifidelity learning, i.e., learning from multifidelity datasets. We develop a multifidelity neural operator based on a deep operator network (DeepONet). A multifidelity DeepONet includes two standard DeepONets coupled by residual learning and input augmentation. Multifidelity DeepONet significantly reduces the required amount of high-fidelity data and achieves one order of magnitude smaller error when using the same amount of high-fidelity data. We apply a multifidelity DeepONet to learn the phonon Boltzmann transport equation (BTE), a framework to compute nanoscale heat transport. By combining a trained multifidelity DeepONet with genetic algorithm or topology optimization, we demonstrate a fast solver for the inverse design of BTE problems.
Meta-optics has achieved major breakthroughs in the past decade; however, conventional forward design faces challenges as functionality complexity and device size scale up. Inverse design aims at optimizing meta-optics design but has been currently limited by expensive brute-force numerical solvers to small devices, which are also difficult to realize experimentally. Here, we present a general inverse design framework for aperiodic large-scale (20k×20k λ^{2}) complex meta-optics in three dimensions, which alleviates computational cost for both simulation and optimization via a fast-approximate solver and an adjoint method, respectively. Our framework naturally accounts for fabrication constraints via a surrogate model. In experiments, we demonstrate, for the first time, aberration-corrected metalenses working in the visible with high numerical aperture, poly-chromatic focusing, and large diameter up to centimeter scale. Such large-scale meta-optics opens a new paradigm for applications, and we demonstrate its potential for future virtual-reality platforms by using a meta-eyepiece and a laser back-illuminated micro-Liquid Crystal Display.
We present general analytical criteria for the design of lossless reciprocal two-port systems, which exhibit prescribed scattering spectra S(ω) satisfying S_{22}(ω) = e^{iφ} S_{11}(ω), including symmetric (S_{22} = S_{11}) or “antimetric” (S_{22} = -S_{11}) responses, such as standard filters (Butterworth, Chebyshev, elliptic, etc.). We show that the non-normalized resonant (quasinormal) modes (QNMs) of all such two-port systems couple to the input and output ports with specific unitary ratios, whose relative signs determine the position of the scattering zeros on the real frequency axis. This allows us to obtain design criteria assigning values to the poles, background response, and QNM-to-port coupling coefficients. Filter devices can then be designed via a well-conditioned nonlinear optimization (or root-finding) problem using a numerical eigensolver. As an application, we design multiple microwave metasurfaces configured for polarization-preserving transmission, reflective polarization conversion, or diffractive “perfect anomalous reflection” to realize filters that precisely match standard bandpass or bandstop filters of various types, orders and bandwidths, with focus on the best-performing elliptic filters.
When a high-energy particle collides with a material, the energy is transferred to atoms in the material, and light can be emitted. This scintillation process is used in many detector applications ranging from medical imaging to high-energy particle physics. Roques-Carmes et al. integrated scintillating materials with nanophotonic structures to enhance and control their light emission (see the Perspective by Yu and Fan). The authors show how nanophotonic structures enable the ability to shape the spectral, angular, and polarization characteristics of scintillation. This approach should enable the development of brighter, faster, and higher-resolution scintillators.
Optical metasurfaces have been heralded as the platform to integrate multiple functionalities in a compact form-factor, with the potential to replace bulky optical components. A central stepping stone toward realizing this promise is the demonstration of multifunctionality under several constraints (e.g., at multiple incident wavelengths and/or angles) in a single device, an achievement being hampered by design limitations inherent to single-layer planar geometries. Here, we propose a framework for the inverse design of multilayer metaoptics via topology optimization, showing that even few-wavelength thick devices can achieve high-efficiency multifunctionality, such as multiangle light concentration and plan-achromaticity. We embody our framework in multiple closely spaced patterned layers of a low-index polymer, with fabrication constraints specific to this platform enforced in the optimization process. We experimentally demonstrate our approach with an inverse-designed 3D-printed light concentrator working at five different nonparaxial angles of incidence. Our framework paves the way toward realizing multifunctional ultracompact 3D nanophotonic devices.
We present a photonics topology optimization (TO) package capable of addressing a wide range of practical photonics design problems, incorporating robustness and manufacturing constraints, which can scale to large devices and massive parallelism. We employ a hybrid algorithm that builds on a mature time-domain (FDTD) package Meep to simultaneously solve multiple frequency-domain TO problems over a broad bandwidth. This time/frequency-domain approach is enhanced by new filter-design sources for the gradient calculation and new material-interpolation methods for optimizing dispersive media, as well as by multiple forms of computational parallelism. The package is available as free/open-source software with extensive tutorials and multi-platform support.
We report an inverse-designed, high numerical aperture (∼0.44), extended depth of focus (EDOF) meta-optic, which exhibits a lens-like point spread function (PSF). The EDOF meta-optic maintains a focusing efficiency comparable to that of a hyperboloid metalens throughout its depth of focus. Exploiting the extended depth of focus and computational post processing, we demonstrate broadband imaging across the full visible spectrum using a 1 mm, f/1 meta-optic. Unlike other canonical EDOF meta-optics, characterized by phase masks such as a log-asphere or cubic function, our design exhibits a highly invariant PSF across ∼290 nm optical bandwidth, which leads to significantly improved image quality, as quantified by structural similarity metrics.
We introduce ∂PV, an end-to-end differentiable photovoltaic (PV) cell simulator based on the drift-diffusion model and Beer-Lambert law for optical absorption. dPV is programmed in Python using JAX, an automatic differentiation (AD) library for scientific computing. Using AD coupled with the implicit function theorem, dPV computes the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of an input PV design as well as the derivative of the PCE with respect to any input parameters, all within comparable time of solving the forward problem. We show an example of perovskite solar-cell optimization and multi-parameter discovery, and compare results with random search and finite differences. The simulator can be integrated with optimization algorithms and neural networks, opening up possibilities for data-efficient optimization and parameter discovery.
It was recently demonstrated that feeding a silicon-in-silica coaxial fibre into a flame−imparting a steep silica viscosity gradient−results in the formation of silicon spheres whose size is controlled by the feed speed [Gumennik et al., Nat.Commun. 4, 2216 (2013)]. A reduced model to predict the droplet size from the feed speed was then derived by Mowlavi et al. [Phys. Rev. Fluids. 4, 064003 (2019)], but large experimental uncertainties in the parameter values and temperature profile made quantitative validation of the model impossible. Here, we validate the reduced model against fully-resolved three-dimensional axisymmetric Stokes simulations using the exact same physical parameters and temperature profile. We obtain excellent quantitative agreement for a wide range of experimentally relevant feed speeds. Surprisingly, we also observe that the local capillary number at the breakup location remains almost constant across all feed speeds. Owing to its low computational cost, the reduced model is therefore a useful tool for designing future experiments.
We develop a quasi-normal mode theory (QNMT) to calculate a system's scattering S matrix, simultaneously satisfying both energy conservation and reciprocity even for a small truncated set of resonances. It is a practical reduced-order (few-parameter) model based on the resonant frequencies and constant mode-to-port coupling coefficients, easily computed from an eigensolver without the need for QNM normalization. Furthermore, we show how low-Q modes can be separated into an effective slowly varying background response C, giving an additional approximate formula for S, which is useful to describe general Fano-resonant phenomena. We demonstrate our formulation for both normal and fixed-angle oblique plane-wave incidence on various electromagnetic metasurfaces.
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy is a powerful and versatile sensing method with a detection limit down to the single molecule level. In this article, we demonstrate how topology optimization (TopOpt) can be used for designing surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrates adhering to realistic fabrication constraints. As an example, we experimentally demonstrated a SERS enhancement factor of 5 ×10^{4} for the 604 cm^{-1} Raman line of rhodamine 6G using metal nanostructures with a critical dimension of 20 nm. We then show that, by relaxing the fabrication constraints, TopOpt may be used to design SERS substrates with orders of magnitude larger enhancement factor. The results validate topology optimization as an effective method for engineering nanostructures with optimal performance and fabrication tolerance.
Quantum-cascade-laser- (QCL) pumped molecular lasers (QPMLs) have recently been introduced as a source of powerful (> 1 mW) tunable (> 1 THz) narrow-band (< 10 kHz) continuous-wave terahertz radiation. The performance of these lasers depends critically on molecular collision physics, pump saturation, and on the design of the laser cavity. Using a validated three-level model that captures the essential collision and saturation behaviors of the QPML gas nitrous oxide (N_{2}O), we explore how the threshold pump power and output terahertz power depend on the pump power and gas pressure, as well as on the diameter, length, and output-coupler transmissivity of a cylindrical cavity. The analysis indicates that maximum power occurs as pump saturation is minimized in a manner that depends much more sensitively on pressure than on cell diameter, length, or transmissivity. A near-optimal compact laser cavity can produce tens of milliwatts of power tunable over frequencies above 1 THz when pumped by a multiwatt QCL.
We present a unified density-based topology-optimization framework that yields integrated photonic designs optimized for manufacturing constraints including all those of commercial semiconductor foundries. We introduce a new method to impose minimum-area and minimum-enclosed-area constraints, and simultaneously adapt previous techniques for minimum linewidth, linespacing, and curvature, all of which are implemented without any additional re-parameterizations. Furthermore, we show how differentiable morphological transforms can be used to produce devices that are robust to over/under-etching while also satisfying manufacturing constraints. We demonstrate our methodology by designing three broadband silicon-photonics devices for nine different foundry-constraint combinations.
We present full-Maxwell topology-optimization design of a single-piece multilayer metalens, about 10 wavelengths λ in thickness, which simultaneously focuses over a 60^{o} angular range and a 23% spectral bandwidth without suffering chromatic or angular aberration, a “plan-achromat.” At all angles and frequencies, it achieves diffraction-limited focusing (Strehl ratio >0.8) and an absolute focusing efficiency of >50%. Both 2D and 3D axisymmetric designs are presented, optimized over ∼10^{5} degrees of freedom. We also demonstrate shortening the lens-to-sensor distance while producing the same image as for a longer “virtual” focal length and maintaining plan-achromaticity. These proof-of-concept designs demonstrate the ultra-compact multifunctionality that can be achieved by exploiting the full wave physics of subwavelength designs and motivate future work on design and fabrication of multilayer metaoptics.
By co-designing a meta-optical front end in conjunction with an image-processing back end, we demonstrate noise sensitivity and compactness substantially superior to either an optics-only or a computation-only approach, illustrated by two examples: subwavelength imaging and reconstruction of the full polarization coherence matrices of multiple light sources. Our end-to-end inverse designs couple the solution of the full Maxwell equations—exploiting all aspects of wave physics arising in subwavelength scatterers—with inverse-scattering algorithms in a single large-scale optimization involving > 10^{4} degrees of freedom. The resulting structures scatter light in a way that is radically different from either a conventional lens or a random microstructure, and suppress the noise sensitivity of the inverse-scattering computation by several orders of magnitude. Incorporating the full wave physics is especially crucial for detecting spectral and polarization information that is discarded by geometric optics and scalar diffraction theory.
Surrogate models for partial-differential equations are widely used in the design of meta-materials to rapidly evaluate the behavior of composable components. However, the training cost of accurate surrogates by machine learning can rapidly increase with the number of variables. For photonic-device models, we find that this training becomes especially challenging as design regions grow larger than the optical wavelength. We present an active learning algorithm that reduces the number of training points by more than an order of magnitude for a neural-network surrogate model of optical-surface components compared to random samples. Results show that the surrogate evaluation is over two orders of magnitude faster than a direct solve, and we demonstrate how this can be exploited to accelerate large-scale engineering optimization.
We demonstrate new axisymmetric inverse-design techniques that can solve problems radically different from traditional lenses, including reconfigurable lenses (that shift a multi-frequency focal spot in response to refractive-index changes) and widely separated multi-wavelength lenses (λ= 1μm and 10 μm). We also present experimental validation for an axisymmetric inverse-designed monochrome lens in the near-infrared fabricated via two-photon polymerization. Axisymmetry allows fullwave Maxwell solvers to be scaled up to structures hundreds or even thousands of wavelengths in diameter before requiring domain-decomposition approximations, while multilayer topology optimization with ∼10^{5} degrees of freedom can tackle challenging design problems even when restricted to axisymmetric structures.
In this Letter, we present a rigorous method to study the stability of periodic lasing systems. In a linear model, the presence of a continuum of modes (with arbitrarily close lasing thresholds) gives the impression that stable single-mode lasing cannot be maintained in the limit of an infinite system. However, we show that nonlinear effects of the Maxwell-Bloch equations can lead to stable systems near threshold given a simple stability condition on the sign of the laser detuning compared to the band curvature. We examine band-edge (1D) and bound-in-continuum (2D) lasing modes and validate our stability results against time-domain simulations.
By computational optimization of air-void cavities in metallic substrates, we show that the local density of states (LDOS) can reach within a factor of ≈10 of recent theoretical upper limits, and within a factor ≈4 for the single-polarization LDOS, demonstrating that the theoretical limits are nearly attainable. Optimizing the total LDOS results in a spontaneous symmetry breaking where it is preferable to couple to a specific polarization. Moreover, simple shapes such as optimized cylinders attain nearly the performance of complicated many-parameter optima, suggesting that only one or two key parameters matter in order to approach the theoretical LDOS bounds for metallic resonators.
Extended depth of focus (EDOF) lenses are important for various applications in computational imaging and microscopy. In addition to enabling novel functionalities, EDOF lenses can alleviate the need for stringent alignment requirements for imaging systems. Existing EDOF lenses, however, are often inefficient or produce an asymmetric point spread function (PSF) that blurs images. Inverse design of nanophotonics, including metasurfaces, has generated strong interest in recent years owing to its potential for generating exotic and innovative optical elements, which are generally difficult to model intuitively. Using adjoint optimization-based inverse electromagnetic design, in this paper, we designed a cylindrical metasurface lens operating at 625nm with a depth of focus exceeding that of an ordinary lens. We validated our design by nanofabrication and optical characterization of silicon nitride metasurface lenses (with lateral dimension of 66.66 μm) with three different focal lengths (66.66 μm, 100 μm, 133.33 μm). The focusing efficiencies of the fabricated extended depth of focus metasurface lenses are similar to those of traditional metalenses.
We show that topology optimization (TO) of metallic resonators can lead to ∼10^{2} × improvement in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) efficiency compared to traditional resonant structures such as bowtie antennas. TO inverse design leads to surprising structures very different from conventional designs, which simultaneously optimize focusing of the incident wave and emission from the Raman dipole. We consider isolated metallic particles as well as more complicated configurations such as periodic surfaces or resonators coupled to dielectric waveguides, and the benefits of TO are even greater in the latter case. Our results are motivated by recent rigorous upper bounds to Raman scattering enhancement, and shed light on the extent to which these bounds are achievable.
By taking advantage of seeded polymer nanoparticles and strong photo energy absorption, we report CO_{2} laser impacting on water to produce cavitation at the air/water interface. Using a high-speed camera, three regimes (no cavitation, cavitation, and pseudo-cavitation) are identified within a broad range of nanoparticles concentration and size. The underlying correlation among cavitation, nanoparticles and temperature is revealed by the direct observation of spatiotemporal evolution of temperature using a thermal cameral. These findings indicate that nanoparticles not only act as preexisted nuclei to promote nucleation for cavitation, but also likely affect temperature to change the nucleation rate as well. Moreover, by exploiting a compound hexane/water interface, a novel core-shell cavitation is demonstrated. This approach might be utilized to attain and control cavitations by choosing nanoparticles and designing interfaces while operating at a lower laser intensity, for versatile technological applications in material science and medical surgery.
The low efficiency of Raman spectroscopy can be overcome by placing the active molecules in the vicinity of scatterers, typically rough surfaces or nanostructures with various shapes. This surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) leads to substantial enhancement that depends on the scatterer that is used. In this work, we find fundamental upper bounds on the Raman enhancement for arbitrary-shaped scatterers, depending only on its material constants and the separation distance from the molecule. According to our metric, silver is optimal in visible wavelengths while aluminum is better in the near-UV region. Our general analytical bound scales as the volume of the scatterer and the inverse sixth power of the distance to the active molecule. Numerical computations show that simple geometries fall short of the bounds, suggesting further design opportunities for future improvement. For periodic scatterers, we use two formulations to discover different bounds, and the tighter of the two always must apply. Comparing these bounds suggests an optimal period depending on the volume of the scatterer.
The terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum has been the least utilized owing to inadequacies of available sources. We introduce a compact, widely frequency-tunable, extremely bright source of terahertz radiation: a gas-phase molecular laser based on rotational population inversions optically pumped by a quantum cascade laser. By identifying the essential parameters that determine the suitability of a molecule for a terahertz laser, almost any rotational transition of almost any molecular gas can be made to lase. Nitrous oxide is used to illustrate the broad tunability over 37 lines spanning 0.251 to 0.955 terahertz, each with kilohertz linewidths. Our analysis shows that laser lines spanning more than 1 terahertz with powers greater than 1 milliwatt are possible from many molecular gases pumped by quantum cascade lasers.
We introduce an overlapping-domain approach to large-area metasurface design, in which each simulated domain consists of a unit cell and overlapping regions from the neighboring cells plus PML absorbers. We show that our approach generates greatly improved metalens quality compared to designs produced using a locally periodic approximation, thanks to ∼10× better accuracy with similar computational cost. We use the new approach with topology optimization to design large-area (200λ) high-NA (0.71) multichrome and broadband achromatic lenses with high focusing efficiency (∼50%), greatly improving upon previously reported works.
Achieving topologically-protected robust transport in optical systems has recently been of great interest. Most studied topological photonic structures can be understood by solving the eigenvalue problem of Maxwell’s equations for static linear systems. Here, we extend topological phases into dynamically driven systems and achieve a Floquet Chern insulator of light in nonlinear photonic crystals (PhCs). Specifically, we start by presenting the Floquet eigenvalue problem in driven two-dimensional PhCs. We then define topological invariant associated with Floquet bands, and show that topological band gaps with non-zero Chern number can be opened by breaking time-reversal symmetry through the driving field. Finally, we numerically demonstrate the existence of chiral edge states at the interfaces between a Floquet Chern insulator and normal insulators, where the transport is non-reciprocal and uni-directional. Our work paves the way to further exploring topological phases in driven optical systems and their optoelectronic applications.
A parallel deterministic global optimization algorithm for thin-film multilayer optical coatings is developed. This algorithm enables locating a global solution to an optimization problem in this class to within a user-specified tolerance. More specifically, the algorithm is a parallel branch-and-bound method with applicable bounds on the merit function computed using Taylor models. This study is the first one, to the best of our knowledge, to attempt guaranteed global optimization of this important class of problems, thereby providing an overview and an assessment of the current state of such techniques in this domain. As a proof of concept on a small scale, the method is illustrated numerically and experimentally in the context of antireflection coatings for silicon solar cells—we design and fabricate a three-layer dielectric stack on silicon that exhibits an average reflectance of (2.53 ±0.10)%, weighted over a broad range of incident angles and the solar spectrum. The practicality of our approach is assessed by comparing its computational cost relative to traditional stochastic global optimization techniques which provide no guarantees on their solutions. While our method is observed to be significantly more computationally expensive, we demonstrate via our proof of concept that it is already feasible to optimize sufficiently simple practical problems at a reasonable cost, given the current accessibility of cloud computing resources. Ongoing advances in distributed computing are likely to bring more design problems within the reach of deterministic global optimization methods, yielding rigorous guaranteed solutions in the presence of practical manufacturing constraints.
Many intriguing patterns are driven by fluid instabilities, even down to micrometer and nanometer scales, with numerous technological and industrial applications. Here, we propose a novel physical mechanism for filament formation in a stretched viscous sheet by combining stretching and van der Waals forces. We show that a transverse instability is enhanced while the longitudinal instability is suppressed, resulting in filamentation. We find a close agreement between the experimental data and the predictions of a linear-stability analysis. These results offer a pathway to achieving sophisticated microstructuring–nanostructuring for functional devices in either a single fiber or in integrated fabrics for large-scale textiles.
We demonstrate optimization of optical metasurfaces over 10^{5}–10^{6} degrees of freedom in two and three dimensions, 100–1000+ wavelengths (λ) in diameter, with 100+ parameters per λ^{2}. In particular, we show how topology optimization, with one degree of freedom per high-resolution “pixel,” can be extended to large areas with the help of a locally periodic approximation that was previously only used for a few parameters per λ^{2}. In this way, we can computationally discover completely unexpected metasurface designs for challenging multi-frequency, multi-angle problems, including designs for fully coupled multi-layer structures with arbitrary per-layer patterns. Unlike typical metasurface designs based on subwavelength unit cells, our approach can discover both sub- and supra-wavelength patterns and can obtain both the near and far fields.
We develop an analytical framework to derive upper bounds to light-matter interactions in the optical near field, where applications ranging from spontaneous-emission amplification to greater-than-blackbody heat transfer show transformative potential. Our framework connects the classic complex-analytic properties of causal fields with newly developed energy-conservation principles, resulting in a new class of power–bandwidth limits. These limits demonstrate the possibility of orders-of-magnitude enhancement in near-field optical response with the right combination of material and geometry. At specific frequency and bandwidth combinations, the bounds can be closely approached by canonical plasmonic geometries, with the opportunity for new designs to emerge away from those frequency ranges. Embedded in the bounds is a material “figure of merit,” which determines the maximum response of any material (metal, dielectric, bulk, 2D, etc.), for any frequency and bandwidth. Our bounds on local density of states represent maximal spontaneous-emission enhancements, our bounds on cross density of states limit electromagnetic-field correlations, and our bounds on radiative heat transfer (RHT) represent the first such analytical rule, revealing fundamental limits relative to the classical Stefan–Boltzmann law.
In this paper, we develop an approximate wide-bandwidth upper bound to the absorption enhancement in arrays of metaparticles, applicable to general wave-scattering problems and motivated here by ocean-buoy energy extraction. We show that general limits, including the well-known Yablonovitch result in solar cells, arise from reciprocity conditions. The use of reciprocity in the stochastic regime leads us to a diffusion model from which we derive our main result: an analytical prediction of optimal array absorption that closely matches exact simulations for both random and optimized arrays. This result also enables us to propose and quantify approaches to increase performance through careful particle design and/or using external reflectors. We show, in particular, that the use of membranes on the water's surface allows substantial enhancement.
A universal property of resonant subwavelength scatterers is that their optical cross-sections are proportional to a square wavelength, λ^{2}, regardless of whether they are plasmonic nanoparticles, two-level quantum systems, or RF antennas. The maximum cross-section is an intrinsic property of the incident field: plane waves, with infinite power, can be decomposed into multipolar orders with finite powers proportional to λ^{2}. In this article, we identify λ^{2}/c and λ^{3}/c as analogous force and torque constants, derived within a more general quadratic scattering-channel framework for upper bounds to optical force and torque for any illumination field. This framework also simplifies the reverse problem: computing optimal “holographic” incident beams, for a fixed collection of scatterers. We analyze structures and incident fields that approach the bounds, which for nonspherical, wavelength-scale bodies show a rich interplay between scattering channels. This framework should enable optimal mechanical control of nanoparticles with light.
We present an ab-initio semi-analytical solution for the noise spectrum of complex-cavity micro-structured lasers, including central Lorentzian peaks at the multimode lasing frequencies and additional sidepeaks due to relaxation-oscillation (RO) dynamics. In Phys. Rev. A 91, 063806 (2015), we computed the central-peak linewidths by solving generalized laser rate equations, which we derived from the Maxwell–Bloch equations by invoking the fluctuation–dissipation theorem to relate the noise correlations to the steady-state lasing properties; Here, we generalize this approach and obtain the entire laser spectrum, focusing on the RO sidepeaks. Our formulation treats inhomogeneity, cavity openness, nonlinearity, and multimode effects accurately. We find a number of new effects, including new multimode RO sidepeaks and three generalized α factors. Lastly, we apply our formulas to compute the noise spectrum of single- and multimode photonic-crystal lasers.
We present a computational framework for efficient optimization-based “inverse design” of large-area “metasurfaces” (subwavelength-patterned surfaces) for applications such as multi-wavelength and multi-angle optimizations, and demultiplexers. To optimize surfaces that can be thousands of wavelengths in diameter, with thousands (or millions) of parameters, the key is a fast approximate solver for the scattered field. We employ a “locally periodic” approximation in which the scattering problem is approximated by a composition of periodic scattering problems from each unit cell of the surface, and validate it against brute-force Maxwell solutions. This is an extension of ideas in previous metasurface designs, but with greatly increased flexibility, e.g. to automatically balance tradeoffs between multiple frequencies, or to optimize a photonic device given only partial information about the desired field. Our approach even extends beyond the metasurface regime to non-subwavelength structures where additional diffracted orders must be included (but the period is not large enough to apply scalar diffraction theory).
Optical metasurfaces (subwavelength-patterned surfaces typically described by variable effective surface impedances) are typically modeled by an approximation akin to ray optics: the reflection or transmission of an incident wave at each point of the surface is computed as if the surface were “locally uniform,” and then the total field is obtained by summing all of these local scattered fields via a Huygens principle. (Similar approximations are found in scalar diffraction theory and in ray optics for curved surfaces.) In this paper, we develop a precise theory of such approximations for variable-impedance surfaces. Not only do we obtain a type of adiabatic theorem showing that the “zeroth-order” locally uniform approximation converges in the limit as the surface varies more and more slowly, including a way to quantify the rate of convergence, but we also obtain an infinite series of higher-order corrections. These corrections, which can be computed to any desired order by performing integral operations on the surface fields, allow rapidly varying surfaces to be modeled with arbitrary accuracy, and also allow one to validate designs based on the zeroth-order approximation (which is often surprisingly accurate) without resorting to expensive brute-force Maxwell solvers. We show that our formulation works arbitrarily close to the surface, and can even compute coupling to guided modes, whereas in the far-field limit our zeroth-order result simplifies to an expression similar to what has been used by other authors.
The unique ability of slot and sub-wavelength grating (SWG) waveguides to confine light outside of the waveguide core material has attracted significant interest in their application to chemical and biological sensing. However, high sensitivity to sidewall roughness induced scattering loss in these structures compared to strip waveguides casts doubt on their efficacy. In this article, we seek to settle the controversy by quantitatively comparing the sensing performance of various waveguide geometries through figures of merit that we derive for each mode of sensing. These methods take into account both modal confinement and roughness scattering loss, the latter of which is computed using a volume-current (Green's-function) method with a first Born approximation. For devices based on the standard 220 nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform whose propagation loss is predominantly limited by random line-edge sidewall roughness scattering, our model predicts that properly engineered TM-polarized strip waveguides claim the best performance for refractometry and absorption spectroscopy, while optimized slot waveguides demonstrate >5× performance enhancement over the other waveguide geometries for waveguide-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.
Free-electron radiation such as Cerenkov, Smith–Purcell and transition radiation can be greatly affected by structured optical environments, as has been demonstrated in a variety of polaritonic, photonic-crystal and metamaterial systems. However, the amount of radiation that can ultimately be extracted from free electrons near an arbitrary material structure has remained elusive. Here we derive a fundamental upper limit to the spontaneous photon emission and energy loss of free electrons, regardless of geometry, which illuminates the effects of material properties and electron velocities. We obtain experimental evidence for our theory with quantitative measurements of Smith–Purcell radiation. Our framework allows us to make two predictions. One is a new regime of radiation operation—at subwavelength separations, slower (non-relativistic) electrons can achieve stronger radiation than fast (relativistic) electrons. The other is a divergence of the emission probability in the limit of lossless materials. We further reveal that such divergences can be approached by coupling free electrons to photonic bound states in the continuum. Our findings suggest that compact and efficient free-electron radiation sources from microwaves to the soft X-ray regime may be achievable without requiring ultrahigh accelerating voltages.
Optically pumped far-infrared (OPFIR) lasers are one of the most powerful continuous-wave terahertz sources. However, such lasers have long been thought to have intrinsically low efficiency and large sizes. Moreover, all previous theoretical models failed to predict even qualitatively the experimental performance at high pressures. Here, we have developed an innovative model that captures the full physics of the lasing process and correctly predicts the behavior in the high-pressure regime. Validated against experiments, our model shows that nearly all previous OPFIR lasers were operating in the wrong regime and that 10× greater efficiency is possible by redesigning the terahertz cavity. Our results reintroduce the use of OPFIR lasers as a powerful and compact source of terahertz radiation.
Efficient numeric algorithm is the key for accurate evaluation of density of states (DOS) in band theory. Gilat-Raubenheimer (GR) method proposed in 1966 is an efficient linear extrapolation method which was limited in specific lattices. Here, using an affine transformation, we provide a new generalization of the original GR method to any Bravais lattices and show that it is superior to the tetrahedron method and the adaptive Gaussian broadening method. Finally, we apply our generalized GR (GGR) method to compute DOS of various gyroid photonic crystals of topological degeneracies.
Two-dimensional (2D) materials provide a platform for strong light–matter interactions, creating wide-ranging design opportunities via new-material discoveries and new methods for geometrical structuring. We derive general upper bounds to the strength of such light–matter interactions, given only the optical conductivity of the material, including spatial nonlocality, and otherwise independent of shape and configuration. Our material figure-of-merit shows that highly doped graphene is an optimal material at infrared frequencies, whereas single-atomic-layer silver is optimal in the visible. For quantities ranging from absorption and scattering to near-field spontaneous-emission enhancements and radiative heat transfer, we consider canonical geometrical structures and show that in certain cases the bounds can be approached, while in others there may be significant opportunity for design improvement. The bounds can encourage systematic improvements in the design of ultrathin broadband absorbers, 2D antennas, and near-field energy harvesters.
We present a general theory of spontaneous emission at exceptional points (EPs)—exotic degeneracies in non-Hermitian systems. Our theory extends beyond spontaneous emission to any light–matter interaction described by the local density of states (e.g., absorption, thermal emission, and nonlinear frequency conversion). Whereas traditional spontaneous-emission theories imply infinite enhancement factors at EPs, we derive finite bounds on the enhancement, proving maximum enhancement of 4 in passive systems with second-order EPs and significantly larger enhancements (exceeding 400×) in gain-aided and higher-order EP systems. In contrast to non-degenerate resonances, which are typically associated with Lorentzian emission curves in systems with low losses, EPs are associated with non-Lorentzian lineshapes, leading to enhancements that scale nonlinearly with the resonance quality factor. Our theory can be applied to dispersive media, with proper normalization of the resonant modes.
This paper aims to maximize optical force or torque on arbitrary micro- and nanoscale objects using numerically optimized structured illumination. By developing a numerical framework for computer-automated design of 3d vector-field illumination, we demonstrate a 20-fold enhancement in optical torque per intensity over circularly polarized plane wave on a model plasmonic particle. The nonconvex optimization is efficiently performed by combining a compact cylindrical Bessel basis representation with a fast boundary element method and a standard derivative-free, local optimization algorithm. We analyze the optimization results for 2000 random initial configurations, discuss the tradeoff between robustness and enhancement, and compare the different effects of multipolar plasmon resonances on enhancing force or torque. All results are obtained using open-source computational software available online.
We present a general method to obtain the stable lasing solutions for the steady-state ab-initio lasing theory (SALT) for the case of a degenerate symmetric laser in two dimensions (2d). We find that under most regimes (with one pathological exception), the stable solutions are clockwise and counterclockwise circulating modes, generalizing previously known results of ring lasers to all 2d rotational symmetry groups. Our method uses a combination of semi-analytical solutions close to lasing threshold and numerical solvers to track the lasing modes far above threshold. Near threshold, we find closed-form expressions for both circulating modes and other types of lasing solutions as well as for their linearized Maxwell–Bloch eigenvalues, providing a simple way to determine their stability without having to do a full nonlinear numerical calculation. Above threshold, we show that a key feature of the circulating mode is its "chiral" intensity pattern, which arises from spontaneous symmetry-breaking of mirror symmetry, and whose symmetry group requires that the degeneracy persists even when nonlinear effects become important. Finally, we introduce a numerical technique to solve the degenerate SALT equations far above threshold even when spatial discretization artificially breaks the degeneracy.
Highly directional radiation from photonic structures is important for many applications, including high-power photonic crystal surface-emitting lasers, grating couplers, and light detection and ranging devices. However, previous dielectric, few-layer designs only achieved moderate asymmetry ratios, and a fundamental understanding of bounds on asymmetric radiation from arbitrary structures is still lacking. Here, we show that breaking the 180^{o} rotational symmetry of the structure is crucial for achieving highly asymmetric radiation. We develop a general temporal coupled-mode theory formalism to derive bounds on the asymmetric decay rates to the top and bottom of a photonic crystal slab for a resonance with arbitrary in-plane wavevector. Guided by this formalism, we show that infinite asymmetry is still achievable even without the need for back-reflection mirrors, and we provide numerical examples of designs that achieve asymmetry ratios exceeding 10^{4}. The emission direction can also be rapidly switched from top to bottom by tuning the wavevector or frequency. Furthermore, we show that with the addition of weak material absorption loss, such structures can be used to achieve perfect absorption with single-sided illumination, even for single-pass material absorption rates less than 0.5% and without back-reflection mirrors. Our work provides new design principles for achieving highly directional radiation and perfect absorption in photonics.
Subwavelength resonators, ranging from single atoms to metallic nanoparticles, typically exhibit a narrow-bandwidth response to optical excitations. We computationally design and experimentally synthesize tailored distributions of silver nanodisks to extinguish light over broad and varied frequency windows. We show that metallic nanodisks are 2–10× more efficient in absorbing and scattering light than common structures, and can approach fundamental limits to broadband scattering for subwavelength particles. We measure broadband extinction per volume that closely approaches theoretical predictions over three representative visible-range wavelength windows, confirming the high efficiency of nanodisks and demonstrating the collective power of computational design and experimental precision for developing new photonics technologies.
We describe a novel approach based on topology optimization that enables automatic discovery of wavelength-scale photonic structures for achieving high-efficiency second-harmonic generation (SHG). A key distinction from previous formulation and designs that seek to maximize Purcell factors at individual frequencies is that our method not only aims to achieve frequency matching (across an entire octave) and large radiative lifetimes, but also optimizes the equally important nonlinear–coupling figure of merit β, involving a complicated spatial overlap-integral between modes. We apply this method to the particular problem of optimizing micropost and grating-slab cavities (one-dimensional multilayered structures) and demonstrate that a variety of material platforms can support modes with the requisite frequencies, large lifetimes Q>10^{4}, small modal volumes ∼(λ/n)^{3}, and extremely large β> 10^{-2}, leading to orders of magnitude enhancements in SHG efficiency compared to state of the art photonic designs. Such giant β alleviate the need for ultra-narrow linewidths and thus pave the way for wavelength-scale SHG devices with faster operating timescales and higher tolerance to fabrication imperfections.
At visible and infrared frequencies, metals show tantalizing promise for strong subwavelength resonances, but material loss typically dampens the response. We derive fundamental limits to the optical response of absorptive systems, bounding the largest enhancements possible given intrinsic material losses. Through basic conservation-of-energy principles, we derive geometry-independent limits to per-volume absorption and scattering rates, and to local-density-of-states enhancements that represent the power radiated or expended by a dipole near a material body. We provide examples of structures that approach our absorption and scattering limits at any frequency; by contrast, we find that common “antenna” structures fall far short of our radiative LDOS bounds, suggesting the possibility for significant further improvement. Underlying the limits is a simple metric, |χ|^{2} / Im χ for a material with susceptibility χ, that enables broad technological evaluation of lossy media across optical frequencies.
We demonstrate that due to strong modal interactions through cross-gain saturation, the onset of a new lasing mode can switch off an existing mode via a negative power slope. In this process of interaction-induced mode switching (IMS) the two involved modes maintain their identities, i.e. they do not change their spatial field patterns or lasing frequencies. For a fixed pump profile, a simple analytic criterion for the occurrence of IMS is given in terms of their self- and cross-interaction coefficients and non-interacting thresholds, which is verified for the example of a two-dimensional microdisk laser. When the spatial pump profile is varied as the pump power is increased, IMS can be induced even when it would not occur with a fixed pump profile, as we show for two coupled laser cavities. Our findings apply to steady-state lasing and are hence different from dynamical mode switching or hopping. IMS may have potential applications in robust and flexible all-optical switching.
Topology of electron wavefunctions was first introduced to characterize the quantum Hall states in two dimensions discovered in 1980. Over the past decade, it has been recognized that symmetry plays a crucial role in the classification of topological phases, leading to the broad notion of symmetry-protected topological phases. As a primary example, topological insulators are distinguished from normal insulators in the presence of time-reversal symmetry (T). A three-dimensional (3D) topological insulator exhibits an odd number of protected surface Dirac cones, a unique property that cannot be realized in any 2D systems. Importantly, the existence of topological insulators requires Kramers' degeneracy in spin–orbit coupled electronic materials; this forbids any direct analogue in boson systems. In this report, we discover a 3D topological photonic crystal phase hosting a single surface Dirac cone, which is protected by a crystal symmetry—the nonsymmorphic glide reflection rather than T. Such a gapless surface state is fully robust against random disorder of any type. This bosonic topological band structure is achieved by applying alternating magnetization to gap out the 3D `generalized Dirac points' discovered in the bulk of our crystal. The Z_{2} bulk invariant is characterized through the evolution of Wannier centres. Our proposal—readily realizable using ferrimagnetic materials at microwave frequencies—expands the scope of 3D topological materials from fermions to bosons.
We perform a first-principles calculation of the quantum-limited laser linewidth, testing the predictions of recently developed theories of the laser linewidth based on fluctuations about the known steady-state laser solutions against traditional forms of the Schawlow–Townes linewidth. The numerical study is based on finite-difference time-domain simulations of the semiclassical Maxwell–Bloch lasing equations, augmented with Langevin force terms, and thus includes the effects of dispersion, losses due to the open boundary of the laser cavity, and non-linear coupling between the amplitude and phase fluctuations (α factor). We find quantitative agreement between the numerical results and the predictions of the noisy steady-state ab initio laser theory (N-SALT), both in the variation of the linewidth with output power, as well as the emergence of side-peaks due to relaxation oscillations.
We derive shape-independent limits to the spectral radiative heat-transfer rate between two closely spaced bodies, generalizing the concept of a blackbody to the case of near-field energy transfer. Through conservation of energy and reciprocity, we show that each body of susceptibility χ can emit and absorb radiation at enhanced rates bounded by |χ|^{2} / Im χ, optimally mediated by near-field photon transfer proportional to 1/d^{2} across a separation distance d. Dipole–dipole and dipole–plate structures approach restricted versions of the limit, but common large-area structures do not exhibit the material enhancement factor and thus fall short of the general limit. By contrast, we find that particle arrays interacting in an idealized Born approximation (i.e., neglecting multiple scattering) exhibit both enhancement factors, suggesting the possibility of orders-of-magnitude improvement beyond previous designs and the potential for radiative heat transfer to be comparable to conductive heat transfer through air at room temperature, and significantly greater at higher temperatures.
We describe a fluctuating volume-current formulation of electromagnetic fluctuations that extends our recent work on heat exchange and Casimir interactions between arbitrarily shaped homogeneous bodies [A. W. Rodriguez, M. T. H. Reid, and S. G. Johnson, Phys. Rev. B 88, 054305 (2013)] to situations involving incandescence and luminescence problems, including thermal radiation, heat transfer, Casimir forces, spontaneous emission, fluorescence, and Raman scattering, in inhomogeneous media. Unlike previous scattering formulations based on field and/or surface unknowns, our work exploits powerful techniques from the volume-integral equation (VIE) method, in which electromagnetic scattering is described in terms of volumetric, current unknowns throughout the bodies. The resulting trace formulas (boxed equations) involve products of well-studied VIE matrices and describe power and momentum transfer between objects with spatially varying material properties and fluctuation characteristics. We demonstrate that thanks to the low-rank properties of the associated matrices, these formulas are susceptible to fast-trace computations based on iterative methods, making practical calculations tractable. We apply our techniques to study thermal radiation, heat transfer, and fluorescence in complicated geometries, checking our method against established techniques best suited for homogeneous bodies as well as applying it to obtain predictions of radiation from complex bodies with spatially varying permittivities and/or temperature profiles.
We propose monolithic diamond cavities that can be used to convert color-center Fock-state single photons from emission wavelengths to telecommunication bands. We present a detailed theoretical description of the conversion process, analyzing important practical concerns such as nonlinear phase shifts and frequency mismatch. Our analysis predicts sustainable power requirements (< 1 W) for a chipscale nonlinear device with high conversion efficiencies.
We present concise, computationally efficient formulas for several quantities of interest—including absorbed and scattered power, optical force (radiation pressure), and torque—in scattering calculations performed using the boundary-element method (BEM) [also known as the method of moments (MOM)]. Our formulas compute the quantities of interest directly from the BEM surface currents with no need ever to compute the scattered electromagnetic fields. We derive our new formulas and demonstrate their effectiveness by computing power, force, and torque in a number of example geometries. Free, open-source software implementations of our formulas are available for download online.
We present a multimode laser-linewidth theory for arbitrary cavity structures and geometries that contains nearly all previously known effects and also finds new nonlinear and multimode corrections, e.g., a correction to the α factor due to openness of the cavity and a multimode Schawlow–Townes relation (each linewidth is proportional to a sum of inverse powers of all lasing modes). Our theory produces a quantitatively accurate formula for the linewidth, with no free parameters, including the full spatial degrees of freedom of the system. Starting with the Maxwell–Bloch equations, we handle quantum and thermal noise by introducing random currents whose correlations are given by the fluctuation–dissipation theorem. We derive coupled-mode equations for the lasing-mode amplitudes and obtain a formula for the linewidths in terms of simple integrals over the steady-state lasing modes.
Structural coloration produces some of the most brilliant colors in nature and has many applications. Motivated by the recently proposed transparent displays that are based on wavelength-selective scattering, here we consider the new problem of transparent structural color, where objects are transparent under omnidirectional broad-band illumination but scatter strongly with a directional narrow-band light source. Transparent structural color requires two competing properties, narrow bandwidth and broad viewing angle, that have not been demonstrated simultaneously previously. Here, we use numerical optimization to discover geometries where a sharp 7% bandwidth in scattering is achieved, yet the peak wavelength varies less than 1%, and the peak height and peak width vary less than 6% over broad viewing angles (0–90^{o}) under a directional illumination. Our model system consists of dipole scatterers arranged into several rings; interference among the scattered waves is optimized to yield the wavelength-selective and angle-insensitive response.
We obtain a fluctuation-dissipation theorem describing thermal electromagnetic fluctuation effects in nonlinear media that we exploit in conjunction with a stochastic Langevin framework to study thermal radiation from Kerr (χ^{(3)}) photonic cavities coupled to external environments at and out of equilibrium. We show that, in addition to thermal broadening due to two-photon absorption, the emissivity of such cavities can exhibit asymmetric, non-Lorentzian line shapes due to self-phase modulation. When the local temperature of the cavity is larger than that of the external bath, we find that the heat transfer into the bath exceeds the radiation from a corresponding linear blackbody at the same local temperature. We predict that these temperature-tunable thermal processes can be observed in practical, nanophotonic cavities operating at relatively small temperatures.
Hybrid nanostructures that couple plasmon and exciton resonances generate hybridized energy states, called plexcitons, which may result in unusual light-matter interactions. We report the formation of a transparency dip in the visible spectra of colloidal suspensions containing silver nanoplatelets and a cyanine dye, 1,1'-diethyl-2,2'-cyanine iodide (PIC). PIC was electrostatically adsorbed onto the surface of silver nanoplatelet core particles, forming an outer J-aggregate shell. This core–shell architecture provided a framework for coupling the plasmon resonance of the silver nanoplatelet core with the exciton resonance of the J-aggregate shell. The sizes and aspect ratios of the silver nanoplatelets were controlled to ensure the overlap of the plasmon and exciton resonances. As a measure of the plasmon-exciton coupling strength in the system, the experimentally observed transparency dips correspond to a Rabi splitting energy of 207 meV, among the highest reported for colloidal nanoparticles. The optical properties of the silver platelet-J-aggregate nanocomposites were supported numerically and analytically by the boundary-element method and temporal coupled-mode theory, respectively. Our theoretical predictions and experimental results confirm the presence of a transparency dip for the silver nanoplatelet core J-aggregate shell structures. Additionally, the numerical and analytical calculations indicate that the observed transparencies are dominated by the coupling of absorptive resonances, as opposed to the coupling of scattering resonances. Hence, we describe the suppressed extinction in this study as an induced transparency rather than a Fano resonance.
We propose an all-optical, three-dimensional electron pulse compression scheme in which Hermite–Gaussian optical modes are used to fashion a three-dimensional optical trap in the electron pulse's rest frame. We show that the correct choices of optical incidence angles are necessary for optimal compression. We obtain analytical expressions for the net impulse imparted by Hermite–Gaussian free-space modes of arbitrary order. Although we focus on electrons, our theory applies to any charged particle and any particle with non-zero polarizability in the Rayleigh regime. We verify our theory numerically using exact solutions to Maxwell's equations for first-order Hermite–Gaussian beams, demonstrating single-electron pulse compression factors of > 10^{2} in both longitudinal and transverse dimensions with experimentally realizable optical pulses. The proposed scheme is useful in ultrafast electron imaging for both single- and multi-electron pulse compression, and as a means of circumventing temporal distortions in magnetic lenses when focusing ultrashort electron pulses. Other applications include the creation of flat electron beams and ultrashort electron bunches for coherent terahertz emission.
We present simple and stable formulas for computing power (including absorbed/radiated, scattered and extinction power) in current-based volume integral equation formulations. The proposed formulas are given in terms of vector-matrix-vector products of quantities found solely in the associated linear system. In addition to their efficiency, the derived expressions can guarantee the positivity of the computed power. We also discuss the application of Poynting's theorem for the case of sources immersed in dissipative materials. The formulas are validated against results obtained both with analytical and numerical methods for scattering and radiation benchmark cases.
Whether intentionally introduced to exert control over particles and macroscopic objects, such as for trapping or cooling, or whether arising from the quantum and thermal fluctuations of charges in otherwise neutral bodies, leading to unwanted stiction between nearby mechanical parts, electromagnetic interactions play a fundamental role in many naturally occurring processes and technologies. In this review, we survey recent progress in the understanding and experimental observation of optomechanical and quantum-fluctuation forces. Although both of these effects arise from exchange of electromagnetic momentum, their dramatically different origins, involving either real or virtual photons, lead to different physical manifestations and design principles. Specifically, we describe recent predictions and measurements of attractive and repulsive optomechanical forces, based on the bonding and antibonding interactions of evanescent waves, as well as predictions of modified and even repulsive Casimir forces between nanostructured bodies. Finally, we discuss the potential impact and interplay of these forces in emerging experimental regimes of micromechanical devices.
We present a generic technique, automated by computer-algebra systems and available as open-source software, for efficient numerical evaluation of a large family of singular and nonsingular 4-dimensional integrals over triangleproduct domains, such as those arising in the boundary-element method (BEM) of computational electromagnetism. Previously, practical implementation of BEM solvers often required the aggregation of multiple disparate integral-evaluation schemes in order to treat all of the distinct types of integrals needed for a given BEM formulation; in contrast, our technique allows many different types of integrals to be handled by the same algorithm and the same code implementation. Our method is a significant generalization of the Taylor–Duffy approach, which was originally presented for just a single type of integrand; in addition to generalizing this technique to a broad class of integrands, we also achieve a significant improvement in its efficiency by showing how the dimension of the final numerical integral may often reduced by one. In particular, if n is the number of common vertices between the two triangles, in many cases we can reduce the dimension of the integral from 4−n to 3−n, obtaining a closed-form analytical result for n=3 (the common-triangle case).
We perform full 3D topology optimization (in which “every voxel” of the unit cell is a degree of freedom) of photonic-crystal structures in order to find optimal omnidirectional band gaps for various symmetry groups, including fcc (including diamond), bcc, and simple-cubic lattices. Even without imposing the constraints of any fabrication process, the resulting optimal gaps are only slightly larger than previous hand designs, suggesting that current photonic crystals are nearly optimal in this respect. However, optimization can discover new structures, e.g. a new fcc structure with the same symmetry but slightly larger gap than the well known inverse opal, which may offer new degrees of freedom to future fabrication technologies. Furthermore, our band-gap optimization is an illustration of a computational approach to 3D dispersion engineering which is applicable to many other problems in optics, based on a novel semidefinite-program formulation for nonconvex eigenvalue optimization combined with other techniques such as a simple approach to impose symmetry constraints. We also demonstrate a technique for robust topology optimization, in which some uncertainty is included in each voxel and we optimize the worst-case gap, and we show that the resulting band gaps have increased robustness to systematic fabrication errors.
We prove that well-known speed of light restrictions on electromagnetic energy velocity can be extended to a new level of generality, encompassing even nonlocal chiral media in periodic geometries, while at the same time weakening the underlying assumptions to only passivity and linearity of the medium (either with a transparency window or with dissipation). As was also shown by other authors under more limiting assumptions, passivity alone is sufficient to guarantee causality and positivity of the energy density (with no thermodynamic assumptions). Our proof is general enough to include a very broad range of material properties, including anisotropy, bianisotropy (chirality), nonlocality, dispersion, periodicity, and even delta functions or similar generalized functions. We also show that the "dynamical energy density" used by some previous authors in dissipative media reduces to the standard Brillouin formula for dispersive energy density in a transparency window. The results in this paper are proved by exploiting deep results from linear-response theory, harmonic analysis, and functional analysis that had previously not been brought together in the context of electrodynamics.
We present an efficient and flexible method for solving the non-linear lasing equations of the steady-state ab initio laser theory. Our strategy is to solve the underlying system of partial differential equations directly, without the need of setting up a parametrized basis of constant flux states. We validate this approach in one-dimensional as well as in cylindrical systems, and demonstrate its scalability to full-vector three-dimensional calculations in photonic-crystal slabs. Our method paves the way for efficient and accurate simulations of microlasers which were previously inaccessible.
Using a combination of temporal coupled-mode theory and nonlinear finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations, we study the nonlinear dynamics of all-resonant four-wave mixing processes and demonstrate the possibility of achieving high-efficiency limit cycles and steady states that lead to ≈100% depletion of the incident light at low input (critical) powers. Our analysis extends previous predictions to capture important effects associated with losses, self- and cross-phase modulation, and imperfect frequency matching (detuning) of the cavity frequencies. We find that maximum steady-state conversion is hypersensitive to frequency mismatch, resulting in high-efficiency limit cycles that arise from the presence of a homoclinic bifurcation in the solution phase space, but that a judicious choice of incident frequencies and input powers, in conjuction with self-phase and cross-phase modulation, can restore high-efficiency steady-state conversion even for large frequency mismatch. Assuming operation in the telecom range, we predict close to perfect quantum efficiencies at reasonably low ∼50mW input powers in silicon micrometer-scale PhC nanobeam cavities.
Nanostructures with multiple resonances can exhibit a suppressed or even completely eliminated scattering of light, called a scattering dark state. We describe this phenomenon with a general treatment of light scattering from a multi-resonant nanostructure that is spherical or non-spherical but subwavelength in size. With multiple resonances in the same channel (i.e. same angular momentum and polarization), coherent interference always leads to scattering dark states in the low-absorption limit, regardless of the system details. The coupling between resonances is inevitable and can be interpreted as arising from far-field or near-field. This is a realization of coupled-resonator-induced transparency in the context of light scattering, which is related to but different from Fano resonances. Explicit examples are given to illustrate these concepts.
We show that the near-field functionality of hyperbolic metamaterials (HMM), typically proposed for increasing the photonic local density of states (LDOS), can be achieved with thin metal films. Although HMMs have an infinite density of internally propagating plane-wave states, the external coupling to nearby emitters is severely restricted. We show analytically that properly designed thin films, of thicknesses comparable to the metal size of a hyperbolic metamaterial, yield an LDOS as high as (if not higher than) that of HMMs. We illustrate these ideas by performing exact numerical computations of the LDOS of multilayer HMMs, along with their application to the problem of maximizing near-field heat transfer, to show that single-layer thin films are suitable replacements in both cases.
Light selection based purely on the angle of propagation is a long-standing scientific challenge. In angularly selective systems, however, the transmission of light usually also depends on the light frequency. We tailored the overlap of the band gaps of multiple one-dimensional photonic crystals, each with a different periodicity, in such a way as to preserve the characteristic Brewster modes across a broadband spectrum. We provide theory as well as an experimental realization with an all–visible spectrum, p-polarized angularly selective material system. Our method enables transparency throughout the visible spectrum at one angle—the generalized Brewster angle—and reflection at every other viewing angle.
We show that there are shape-independent upper bounds to the extinction cross section per unit volume of dilute, randomly arranged nanoparticles, given only material permittivity. Underlying the limits are restrictive sum rules that constrain the distribution of quasistatic eigenvalues. Surprisingly, optimally designed spheroids, with only a single quasistatic degree of freedom, reach the upper bounds for four permittivity values. Away from these permittivities, we demonstrate computationally optimized structures that surpass spheroids and approach the fundamental limits.
We derive an asymptotically accurate formula for the beam waist of ultrashort, tightly focused fundamental linearly polarized, radially polarized, and azimuthally polarized modes in free space. We compute the exact beam waist via numerical cubature to ascertain the accuracy with which our formula approximates the exact beam waist over a broad range of parameters of practical interest. Based on this, we describe a method of choosing parameters in the model given the beam waist and pulse duration of a laser pulse.
In this chapter, we describe various approaches to computing the spectra of photonic quasicrystals (PQCs). We focus on a recently developed super-space method for computing the spectra and eigenstates of PQCs defined by the standard cut-and-project construction, that involves directly solving Maxwell's equations in higher dimensions, where a generalization of Bloch's theorem applies. We emphasize the conceptual and practical differences between super-space and supercell methods, which involve computing the eigenfrequencies and/or local density of states to an approximation of the true aperiodic structure.
We present a technique for large-scale optimization of optical microcavities based on the frequency-averaged local density of states (LDOS), which circumvents computational difficulties posed by previous eigenproblem-based formulations and allows us to perform full topology optimization of three-dimensional (3d) leaky cavity modes. We present theoretical results for both 2d and fully 3d computations in which every pixel of the design pattern is a degree of freedom (“topology optimization”), e.g. for lithographic patterning of dielectric slabs in 3d. More importantly, we argue that such optimization techniques can be applied to design cavities for which (unlike silicon-slab single-mode cavities) hand designs are difficult or unavailable, and in particular we design minimal-volume multi-mode cavities (e.g. for nonlinear frequency-conversion applications).
We predict that a low-permittivity oblate body (disk-shaped object) above a thin metal substrate (plate with a hole) immersed in a fluid of intermediate permittivity will experience a metastable equilibrium (restoring force) near the center of the hole. Stability is the result of a geometry-induced transition in the sign of the force, from repulsive to attractive, that occurs as the disk approaches the hole—in planar or nearly planar geometries, the same material combination yields a repulsive force at all separations, in accordance with the Dzyaloshinskiĭ-Lifshitz-Pitaevskiĭ condition of fluid-induced repulsion between planar bodies. We explore the stability of the system with respect to rotations and lateral translations of the disks and demonstrate interesting transitions (bifurcations) in the rotational stability of the disks as a function of their size. Finally, we consider the reciprocal situation in which the disk-plate materials are interchanged and find that in this case the system also exhibits metastability. The forces in the system are sufficiently large to be observed in experiments and should enable measurements based on the diffusion dynamics of the suspended bodies.
A scalable, chemistry-independent, fluid-instability–mediated in-fiber route for fabricating uniformly sized spherical polymeric particles over a wide span of diameters is developed targeting biomedical applications. Both surface functionalization of solid biocompatible polymer particles for protein–protein interactions and volume encapsulation of a biological material in spherical hollow polymer shells are confirmed, in addition to combining both surface and volumetric functionalities in the same polymeric particle.
We describe a novel fluctuating-surface current formulation of radiative heat transfer between bodies of arbitrary shape that exploits efficient and sophisticated techniques from the surface-integral-equation formulation of classical electromagnetic scattering. Unlike previous approaches to non-equilibrium fluctuations that involve scattering matrices—relating “incoming” and “outgoing” waves from each body—our approach is formulated in terms of “unknown” surface currents, laying at the surfaces of the bodies, that need not satisfy any wave equation. We show that our formulation can be applied as a spectral method to obtain fast-converging semi-analytical formulas in high-symmetry geometries using specialized spectral bases that conform to the surfaces of the bodies (e.g. Fourier series for planar bodies or spherical harmonics for spherical bodies), and can also be employed as a numerical method by exploiting the generality of surface meshes/grids to obtain results in more complicated geometries (e.g. interleaved bodies as well as bodies with sharp corners). In particular, our formalism allows direct application of the boundary-element method, a robust and powerful numerical implementation of the surface-integral formulation of classical electromagnetism, which we use to obtain results in new geometries, including the heat transfer between finite slabs, cylinders, and cones.
This paper presents a method for the efficient numerical computation of Casimir interactions between objects of arbitrary geometries, composed of materials with arbitrary frequency-dependent electrical properties. Our method formulates the Casimir effect as an interaction between effective electric and magnetic current distributions on the surfaces of material bodies and obtains Casimir energies, forces, and torques from the spectral properties of a matrix that quantifies the interactions of these surface currents. The method can be formulated and understood in two distinct ways: (1) as a consequence of the familiar stress-tensor approach to Casimir physics, or, alternatively, (2) as a particular case of the path-integral approach to Casimir physics, and we present both formulations in full detail. In addition to providing an algorithm for computing Casimir interactions in geometries that could not be efficiently handled by any other method, the framework proposed here thus achieves an explicit unification of two seemingly disparate approaches to computational Casimir physics.
The nature of light interaction with matter can be dramatically altered in optical cavities, often inducing nonclassical behavior. In solid-state systems, excitons need to be spatially incorporated within nanostructured cavities to achieve such behavior. Although fascinating phenomena have been observed with inorganic nanostructures, the incorporation of organic molecules into the typically inorganic cavity is more challenging. Here, we present a unique optofluidic platform comprising organic molecules in solution suspended on a photonic crystal surface, which supports macroscopic Fano resonances and allows strong and tunable interactions with the molecules anywhere along the surface. We develop a theoretical framework of this system and present a rigorous comparison with experimental measurements, showing dramatic spectral and angular enhancement of emission. We then demonstrate that these enhancement mechanisms enable lasing of only a 100-nm thin layer of diluted solution of organic molecules with substantially reduced threshold intensity, which has important implications for organic light-emitting devices and molecular sensing.
By Bernoulli's law, an increase in the relative speed of a fluid around a body is accompanied by a decrease in the pressure. Therefore, a rotating body in a fluid stream experiences a force perpendicular to the motion of the fluid because of the unequal relative speed of the fluid across its surface. It is well known that light has a constant speed irrespective of the relative motion. Does a rotating body immersed in a stream of photons experience a Bernoulli-like force? We show that, indeed, a rotating dielectric cylinder experiences such a lateral force from an electromagnetic wave. In fact, the sign of the lateral force is the same as that of the fluid-mechanical analog as long as the electric susceptibility is positive (ɛ> ɛ_{0}), but for negative-susceptibility materials (e.g., metals) we show that the lateral force is in the opposite direction. Because these results are derived from a classical electromagnetic scattering problem, Mie-resonance enhancements that occur in other scattering phenomena also enhance the lateral force.
Colloidal suspensions of multilayer nanoparticles composed of a silver core, a polyelectrolyte spacer layer (inner shell), and a J-aggregate cyanine dye outer shell have been prepared for the first time. Absorption properties of the colloid were measured in the visible region. This multilayer architecture served as a framework for examining the coupling of the localized surface plasmon resonance exhibited by the silver core with the molecular exciton exhibited by the J-aggregate outer shell. The polyelectrolyte spacer layer promotes the formation of an excitonic J-aggregate while serving as a means of controlling the plasmon-exciton (i.e. plexciton) coupling strength through changing the distance between the core and the shell. An analytical expression based on Mie Theory and the Transfer Matrix Method was obtained for describing the optical response of these multilayered nanostructures. Computational and experimental results indicate that the absorption wavelength of the J-aggregate form of the dye is dependent on both the distance of the dye layer from the silver core and the degree of dye aggregation.
From detailed numerical calculations, we demonstrate that in simple photonic crystal structures, a discrete number of Bloch surface-localized eigenstates can exist inside the continuum of free-space modes. Coupling to the free space causes the surface modes to leak, but the forward and back-reflected leakage may interfere destructively to create a perfectly bound surface state with zero leakage. We perform analytical temporal coupled-mode theory analysis to show the generality of such phenomenon and its robustness from variations of system parameters. Periodicity, time-reversal invariance, two-fold rotational symmetry and a perfectly reflecting boundary are necessary for these unique states.
The ability to produce small scale, crystalline silicon spheres is of significant technological and scientific importance, yet scalable methods for doing so have remained elusive. Here we demonstrate a silicon nanosphere fabrication process based on an optical fibre drawing technique. A silica-cladded silicon-core fibre with diameters down to 340 nm is continuously fed into a flame defining an axial thermal gradient and the continuous formation of spheres whose size is controlled by the feed speed is demonstrated. In particular, spheres of diameter <500 nm smaller than those produced under isothermal heating conditions are shown and analysed. A fibre with dual cores, p-type and n-type silicon, is drawn and processed into spheres. Spatially coherent break-up leads to the joining of the spheres into a bispherical silicon `p–n molecule'. The resulting device is measured to reveal a rectifying I–V curve consistent with the formation of a p–n junction.
We demonstrate actuation of a silicon photonic crystal membrane with a repulsive optical gradient force. The extent of the static actuation is extracted by examining the optical bistability as a combination of the optomechanical, thermo-optic, and photo-thermo-mechanical effects using coupled-mode theory. Device behavior is dominated by a repulsive optical force which results in displacements of ≈1 nm/mW. By employing an extended guided resonance which effectively eliminates multi-photon thermal and electronic nonlinearities, our silicon-based device provides a simple, non-intrusive solution to extending the actuation range of micro-electromechanical devices.
The ability to confine light is important both scientifically and technologically. Many light confinement methods exist, but they all achieve confinement with materials or systems that forbid outgoing waves. These systems can be implemented by metallic mirrors, by photonic band-gap materials, by highly disordered media (Anderson localization) and, for a subset of outgoing waves, by translational symmetry (total internal reflection1) or by rotational or reflection symmetry. Exceptions to these examples exist only in theoretical proposals. Here we predict and show experimentally that light can be perfectly confined in a patterned dielectric slab, even though outgoing waves are allowed in the surrounding medium. Technically, this is an observation of an ‘embedded eigenvalue—namely, a bound state in a continuum of radiation modes—that is not due to symmetry incompatibility. Such a bound state can exist stably in a general class of geometries in which all of its radiation amplitudes vanish simultaneously as a result of destructive interference. This method to trap electromagnetic waves is also applicable to electronic and mechanical waves.
We present a new technique for the design of transformation-optics devices based on large-scale optimization to achieve the optimal effective isotropic dielectric materials within prescribed index bounds, which is computationally cheap because transformation optics circumvents the need to solve Maxwell’s equations at each step. We apply this technique to the design of multimode waveguide bends (realized experimentally in a previous paper) and mode squeezers, in which all modes are transported equally without scattering. In addition to the optimization, a key point is the identification of the correct boundary conditions to ensure reflectionless coupling to untransformed regions while allowing maximum flexibility in the optimization. Many previous authors in transformation optics used a certain kind of quasiconformal map which overconstrained the problem by requiring that the entire boundary shape be specified a priori while at the same time underconstraining the problem by employing “slipping” boundary conditions that permit unwanted interface reflections.
Quantum fluctuations give rise to van der Waals and Casimir forces that dominate the interaction between electrically neutral objects at sub-micron separations. Under the trend of miniaturization, such quantum electrodynamical effects are expected to play an important role in micro- and nano-mechanical devices. Nevertheless, utilization of Casimir forces on the chip level remains a major challenge because all experiments so far require an external object to be manually positioned close to the mechanical element. Here by integrating a force-sensing micromechanical beam and an electrostatic actuator on a single chip, we demonstrate the Casimir effect between two micromachined silicon components on the same substrate. A high degree of parallelism between the two near-planar interacting surfaces can be achieved because they are defined in a single lithographic step. Apart from providing a compact platform for Casimir force measurements, this scheme also opens the possibility of tailoring the Casimir force using lithographically defined components of non-conventional shapes.
We present here an optomechanical system fabricated with novel stress management techniques that allow us to suspend an ultrathin defect-free silicon photonic-crystal membrane above a Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) substrate with a gap that is tunable to below 200 nm. Our devices are able to generate strong attractive and repulsive optical forces over a large surface area with simple in- and out- coupling and feature the strongest repulsive optomechanical coupling in any geometry to date (g_{OM}/2π≈−65 GHz/nm). The interplay between the optomechanical and photo-thermal-mechanical dynamics is explored, and the latter is used to achieve cooling and amplification of the mechanical mode, demonstrating that our platform is well-suited for potential applications in low-power mass, force, and refractive-index sensing as well as optomechanical accelerometry.
Advances in photonics and nanotechnology have the potential to revolutionize humanity’s ability to communicate and compute. To pursue these advances, it is mandatory to understand and properly model interactions of light with materials such as silicon and gold at the nanoscale, i.e., the span of a few tens of atoms laid side by side. These interactions are governed by the fundamental Maxwell’s equations of classical electrodynamics, supplemented by quantum electrodynamics.This book presents the current state-of-the-art in formulating and implementing computational models of these interactions. Maxwell’s equations are solved using the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) technique, pioneered by the senior editor, whose prior Artech House books in this area are among the top ten most-cited in the history of engineering. You discover the most important advances in all areas of FDTD and PSTD computational modeling of electromagnetic wave interactions.
This cutting-edge resource helps you understand the latest developments in computational modeling of nanoscale optical microscopy and microchip lithography. You also explore cutting-edge details in modeling nanoscale plasmonics, including nonlocal dielectric functions, molecular interactions, and multi-level semiconductor gain. Other critical topics include nanoscale biophotonics, especially for detecting early-stage cancers, and quantum vacuum, including the Casimir effect and blackbody radiation.
This chapter discusses the relationships between current sources and the resulting electromagnetic waves in FDTD simulations. First, the “total-field/scattered-field” approach to creating incident plane waves is reviewed and seen to be a special case of the well-known principle of equivalence in electromagnetism: this can be used to construct "equivalent" current sources for any desired incident field, including waveguide modes. The effects of dispersion and discretization are discussed, and a simple technique to separate incident and scattered fields is described in order to compensate for imperfect equivalent currents. The important concept of the local density of states (LDOS) is reviewed, which elucidates the relationship between current sources and the resulting fields, including enhancement of the LDOS via mode cutoffs (Van Hove singularities) and resonant cavities (Purcell enhancement). We also address various other source techniques such as covering a wide range of frequencies and incident angles in a small number of simulations for waves incident on a periodic surface, sources to excite eigenmodes in rectangular supercells of periodic systems, moving sources, and thermal sources via a Monte Carlo/Langevin approach.
We demonstrate the realization of a two-dimensional chiral optical waveguide with an infinite translational symmetry that exhibits asymmetric wave propagation. The low-symmetry geometry of the cross-section that lacks any rotational and mirror symmetries shows emphin-principal directional asymmetric polarization rotation. We use general symmetry arguments to provide qualitative analysis of the waveguide's eigenstates and numerically corroborate this using finite element simulation. We show that despite the only perturbative break of time-reversal symmetry via small modal losses, the structure supports a non-degenerate pair of co-rotating elliptical modes. We fabricated meters long fiber with a spiral structure and studied its optical properties.
We predict that the radiative heat-transfer rate between a cylinder and a perforated surface depends non-monotonically on their separation. This anomalous behavior, which arises due to evanescent-wave effects, is explained using a heuristic model based on the interaction of a dipole with a plate. We show that nonmonotonicity depends not only on geometry and temperature but also on material dispersion—for micron and submicron objects, nonmonotonicity is present in polar dielectrics but absent in metals with small skin depths.
We describe a fluctuating surface-current formulation of radiative heat transfer, applicable to arbitrary geometries in both the near and far field, that directly exploits efficient and sophisticated techniques from the boundary-element method. We validate as well as extend previous results for spheres and cylinders, and also compute the heat transfer in a more complicated geometry consisting of two interlocked rings. Finally, we demonstrate how this method can be adapted to compute the spatial distribution of heat flux on the surfaces of the bodies.
Current optical communication systems rely almost exclusively on multimode fibres for short- and medium-haul transmissions, and are now expanding into the long-haul arena. Ultra-high bandwidth applications are the main drive for this expansion, based on the ability to spatially multiplex data channels in multimode systems. Integrated photonics, on the other hand, although largely responsible for today’s telecommunications, continues to operate almost strictly in the single-mode regime. This is because multimode waveguides cannot be compactly routed on-chip without significant inter-mode coupling, which impairs their data rate and prevents the use of modal multiplexing. Here we propose a platform for on-chip multimode devices with minimal inter-mode coupling, opening up the possibilities for integrated multimode optics. Our work combines a novel theoretical approach—large-scale inverse design of transformation optics to maximize performance within fabrication constraints—with unique grayscale-lithography fabrication of an exemplary device: a low-crosstalk multimode waveguide bend.
We designed and analyzed a “mesh-stack” three-dimensional photonic crystal of a 12.4% bandgap with a dielectric constant ratio of 12∶1. The mesh-stack consists of four offset identical square-lattice air-hole patterned membranes in each vertical period that is equal to the in-plane period of the square lattice. This design is fully compatible with the membrane-stacking fabrication method, which is based on alignment and stacking of large-area single-crystal membranes containing engineered defects. A bandgap greater than 10% is preserved as long as the membranes are subjected to in-plane misalignment less than 3% of the square period. By introducing a linear defect with a nonsymmorphic symmetry into the mesh-stack, we achieved a single-mode waveguide over a wide bandwidth.
We investigate the design of taper structures for coupling to slow-light modes of various photonic-crystal waveguides while taking into account parameter uncertainties inherent in practical fabrication. Our short-length (11 periods) robust tapers designed for λ= 1.55μm and a slow-light group velocity of c/34 have a total loss of < 20 dB even in the presence of nanometer-scale surface roughness, which outperform the corresponding non-robust designs by an order of magnitude. We discover a posteriori that the robust designs have smooth profiles that can be parameterized by a few-term (intrinsically smooth) sine series which helps the optimization to further boost the performance slightly. We ground these numerical results in an analytical foundation by deriving the scaling relationships between taper length, taper smoothness, and group velocity with the help of an exact equivalence with Fourier analysis.
We show that cloaking of isolated objects using transformation-based cloaks is subject to a diameter–bandwidth product limitation: as the size of the object increases, the bandwidth of good (small cross-section) cloaking decreases inversely with the diameter, as a consequence of causality constraints even for perfect fabrication and materials with negligible absorption. This generalizes a previous result that perfect cloaking of isolated objects over a nonzero bandwidth violates causality. Furthermore, we demonstrate broader causality-based scaling limitations on any bandwidth-averaged cloaking cross-section, using complex analysis and the optical theorem to transform the frequency-averaged problem into a single scattering problem with transformed materials.
From drug delivery to chemical and biological catalysis and cosmetics, the need for efficient fabrication pathways for particles over a wide range of sizes, from a variety of materials, and in many different structures has been well established. Here we harness the inherent scalability of fibre production and an in-fibre Plateau–Rayleigh capillary instability for the fabrication of uniformly sized, structured spherical particles spanning an exceptionally wide range of sizes: from 2 mm down to 20 nm. Thermal processing of a multimaterial fibre controllably induces the instability, resulting in a well-ordered, oriented emulsion in three dimensions. The fibre core and cladding correspond to the dispersed and continuous phases, respectively, and are both frozen in situ on cooling, after which the particles are released when needed. By arranging a variety of structures and materials in a macroscopic scaled-up model of the fibre, we produce composite, structured, spherical particles, such as core–shell particles, two-compartment `Janus' particles, and multi-sectioned `beach ball' particles. Moreover, producing fibres with a high density of cores allows for an unprecedented level of parallelization. In principle, 10^{8} 50-nm cores may be embedded in metres-long, 1-mm-diameter fibre, which can be induced to break up simultaneously throughout its length, into uniformly sized, structured spheres.
We propose an optimization-based theoretical approach to tailor the optical response of silver/silica multilayer nanospheres over the visible spectrum. We show that the structure that provides the largest cross-section per volume/mass, averaged over a wide frequency range, is the silver coated silica sphere. We also show how properly chosen mixture of several species of different nanospheres can have an even larger minimal cross-section per volume/mass over the entire visible spectrum.
The famous Johnson–Nyquist formula relating noise current to conductance has a microscopic generalization relating noise current density to microscopic conductivity, with corollary relations governing noise in the components of the electromagnetic fields. These relations, known collectively in physics as fluctuation–dissipation relations, form the basis of the modern understanding of fluctuation-induced phenomena, a field of burgeoning importance in experimental physics and nanotechnology. In this review, we survey recent progress in computational techniques for modeling fluctuation-induced phenomena, focusing on two cases of particular interest: near-field radiative heat transfer and Casimir forces. In each case we review the basic physics of the phenomenon, discuss semi-analytical and numerical algorithms for theoretical analysis, and present recent predictions for novel phenomena in complex material and geometric configurations.
In this paper we describe a general method to avoid stress-induced buckling of thin and large freestanding membranes. We show that using properly designed supports, in the form of microbeams, we can reduce the out-of-plane deflection of the membrane while maintaining its stiffness. As a proof of principle, we used a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform to fabricate 30 μm wide, 220 nm thick, free-standing Si membranes, supported by four 15 μm long and 3 μm wide microbeams. Using our approach, we are able to achieve an out-of-plane deformation of the membrane smaller than 50 nm in spite of 39 MPa of compressive internal stress. Our method is general, and can be applied to different material systems with compressive or tensile internal stress.
We develop a general numerical method to calculate the nonequilibrium radiative heat transfer between a plate and compact objects of arbitrary shapes, making the first accurate theoretical predictions for the total heat transfer and the spatial heat flux profile for three-dimensional compact objects including corners or tips. In contrast to the known sphere-plate heat transfer, we find qualitatively different scaling laws for cylinders and cones at small separations, and, in contrast to a flat or slightly curved object, a sharp cone exhibits a local minimum in the spatially resolved heat flux directly below the tip. Our results may have important implications for near-field thermal writing and surface roughness.
By directly simulating Maxwell’s equations via the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method, we numerically demonstrate the possibility of achieving high-efficiency second harmonic generation (SHG) in a structure consisting of a microscale doubly-resonant ring resonator side-coupled to two adjacent waveguides. We find that ≥94% conversion efficiency can be attained at telecom wavelengths, for incident powers in the milliwatts, and for reasonably large bandwidths (Q ∼1000s). We demonstrate that in this high efficiency regime, the system also exhibits limit-cycle or bistable behavior for light incident above a threshold power. Our numerical results agree to within a few percent with the predictions of a simple but rigorous coupled-mode theory framework.
We explore the mechanisms for an efficient light trapping structure for thin-film silicon solar cells. The design combines a distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) and periodic gratings. Using photonic band theories and numerical simulations, we discover that light can be scattered into the DBR by gratings, with an unusual way of light trapping different from metal reflectors and photonic crystals. We further investigate the influence of DBR on generated photocurrent in different device configurations. These results would provide new design rules for photonic structures in thin-film solar cells.
We design an all–dielectric Lüneburg lens as an adiabatic space–variant lattice explicitly accounting for finite film thickness. We describe an all–analytical approach to compensate for the finite height of subwavelength dielectric structures in the pass–band regime. This method calculates the effective refractive index of the infinite–height lattice from effective medium theory, then embeds a medium of the same effective index into a slab waveguide of finite height and uses the waveguide dispersion diagram to calculate a new effective index. The results are compared with the conventional numerical treatment – a direct band diagram calculation, using a modified three–dimensional lattice with the superstrate and substrate included in the cell geometry. We show that the analytical results are in good agreement with the numerical ones, and the performance of the thin–film Lüneburg lens is quite different than the estimates obtained assuming infinite height.
We demonstrate the possibility of achieving enhanced frequency-selective near-field radiative heat transfer between patterned (photonic-crystal) slabs at designable frequencies and separations, exploiting a general numerical approach for computing heat transfer in arbitrary geometries and materials based on the finite-difference time-domain method. Our simulations reveal a tradeoff between selectivity and near-field enhancement as the slab-slab separation decreases, with the patterned heat transfer eventually reducing to the unpatterned result multiplied by a fill factor (described by a standard proximity approximation). We also find that heat transfer can be further enhanced at selective frequencies when the slabs are brought into a glide-symmetric configuration, a consequence of the degeneracies associated with the nonsymmorphic symmetry group.
Motivated by complex multi-fluid geometries currently being explored in fibre-device manufacturing, we study capillary instabilities in concentric cylindrical flows of N fluids with arbitrary viscosities, thicknesses, densities, and surface tensions in both the Stokes regime and for the full Navier–Stokes problem. Generalising previous work by Tomotika (N=2), Stone & Brenner (N=3, equal viscosities) and others, we present a full linear stability analysis of the growth modes and rates, reducing the system to a linear generalised eigenproblem in the Stokes case. Furthermore, we demonstrate by Plateau-style geometrical arguments that only axisymmetric instabilities need be considered. We show that the N=3 case is already sufficient to obtain several interesting phenomena: limiting cases of thin shells or low shell viscosity that reduce to N=2 problems, and a system with competing breakup processes at very different length scales. The latter is demonstrated with full 3-dimensional simulations. Many N > 3 cases remain to be explored, and as a first step we discuss two illustrative N →∞ cases, an alternating-layer structure and a geometry with a continuously varying viscosity.
We give an example of a geometry in which the electrostatic force between a point charge and a neutral metallic object is repulsive. The example consists of a point charge centered above a thin metallic hemisphere, positioned concave up. We show that this geometry has a repulsive regime using both a simple analytical argument and an exact calculation for an analogous two-dimensional geometry. Analogues of this geometry-induced repulsion can appear in many other contexts, including Casimir systems.
We prove that, for arbitrary three-dimensional transformation-based invisibility cloaking of an object above a ground plane or of isolated object, there are practical constraints that increase with the object size. In particular, we show that the cloak thickness must scale proportional to the thickness of the object being cloaked, assuming bounded refractive indices, and that absorption discrepancies and other imperfections must scale inversely with the object thickness. For isolated objects, we also show that bounded refractive indices imply a lower bound on the effective cross-section.
A new class of multi-material fiber that incorporates micrometer-thickness concentric-cylindrical sheets of glass into polymer matrix has emerged. The ultimate lower limit of feature size and recent observation of interesting instability phenomenon in fiber system motivate us to examine fluid instabilities during the complicated thermal drawing fabrication processing. In this paper, from the perspective of a single instability mechanism, classical Plateau-Rayleigh instabilities in the form of radial fluctuation, we explore the stability of various microstructures (such as shells and filaments) in our composite fibers. The attained uniform structures are consistent with theoretical analysis. Furthermore, a viscous materials map is established from calculations and agrees well with various identified materials. These results not only shed insights into other forms of fluid instabilities, but also provide guidance to achieve more diverse nanostructures (such as filaments, wires, and particles) in the microstructured fibers.
We extend a recently introduced method for computing Casimir forces between arbitrarily shaped metallic objects [M. T. H. Reid et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 103 040401 (2009)] to allow treatment of objects with arbitrary material properties, including imperfect conductors, dielectrics, and magnetic materials. Our original method considered electric currents on the surfaces of the interacting objects; the extended method considers both electric and magnetic surface current distributions, and obtains the Casimir energy of a configuration of objects in terms of the interactions of these effective surface currents. Using this new technique, we present the first predictions of Casimir interactions in several experimentally relevant geometries that would be difficult to treat with any existing method. In particular, we investigate Casimir interactions between dielectric nanodisks embedded in a dielectric fluid; we identify the threshold surface–surface separation at which finite-size effects become relevant, and we map the rotational energy landscape of bound nanoparticle diclusters.
We review several different approaches for computing Casimir forces and related fluctuation-induced interactions between bodies of arbitrary shapes and materials. The relationships between this problem and well known computational techniques from classical electromagnetism are emphasized. We also review the basic principles of standard computational methods, categorizing them according to three criteria—choice of problem, basis, and solution technique—that can be used to classify proposals for the Casimir problem as well. In this way, mature classical methods can be exploited to model Casimir physics, with a few important modifications.
We present numerical experiments showing how coupled-mode theory can be systematically applied to join very dissimilar photonic crystal waveguides with 100% transmission. Our approach relies on appropriately tuning the coupling of the evanescent tail of a cavity mode to each waveguide. The transition region between the waveguides may be as short as a few lattice spacings. Moreover, this technique only requires varying a small number of parameters (two for each waveguide in our example) and the tuning to each waveguide may be done separately, greatly simplifying the computations involved.
We numerically investigate the light-absorption behavior of thin-film silicon for normal-incident light, using surface textures to enhance absorption. We consider a variety of texture designs, such as simple periodic gratings and commercial random textures, and examine arbitrary irregular periodic textures designed by multi-parameter optimization. Deep and high-index-contrast textures exhibit strong anisotropic scattering that is outside the regime of validity of the Lambertian models commonly used to describe texture-induced absorption enhancement for normal incidence. Over a 900–1100 nm wavelength range, our optimized surface texture in two dimensions (2D) enhances absorption by a factor of 2.7πn, considerably larger than the original πn Lambertian result and exceeding by almost 50% a recent generalization of Lambertian model for periodic structures in finite spectral range. However, the πn Lambertian limit still applies for isotropic incident light, and our structure obeys this limit when averaged over all the angles. Therefore, our design can be thought of optimizing the angle/enhancement tradeoff for periodic textures.
We propose an optomechanical structure consisting of a photonic-crystal (holey) membrane suspended above a layered silicon-on-insulator substrate in which resonant bonding/antibonding optical forces created by externally incident light from above enable all-optical control and actuation of stiction effects induced by the Casimir force. In this way, one can control how the Casimir force is expressed in the mechanical dynamics of the membrane, not by changing the Casimir force directly but by optically modifying the geometry and counteracting the mechanical spring constant to bring the system in or out of regimes where Casimir physics dominate. The same optical response (reflection spectrum) of the membrane to the incident light can be exploited to accurately measure the effects of the Casimir force on the equilibrium separation of the membrane.
In this work we theoretically consider the Casimir force between two periodic arrays of nanowires (both in vacuum, and on a substrate separated by a fluid) at separations comparable to the period. Specifically, we compute the dependence of the exact Casimir force between the arrays under both lateral translations and rotations. Although typically the force between such structures is well characterized by the proximity force approximation (PFA), we find that in the present case the microstructure modulates the force in a way qualitatively inconsistent with PFA. We find instead that effective-medium theory, in which the slabs are treated as homogeneous, anisotropic dielectrics, gives a surprisingly accurate picture of the force, down to separations of half the period. This includes a situation for identical, fluid-separated slabs in which the exact force changes sign with the orientation of the wire arrays, whereas PFA predicts attraction. We discuss the possibility of detecting these effects in experiments, concluding that this effect is strong enough to make detection possible in the near future.
We propose a design for a conductive wire composed of several mutually insulated coaxial conducting shells. With the help of numerical optimization, it is possible to obtain electrical resistances significantly lower than those of a heavy-gauge copper wire or litz wire in the 2-–20 MHz range. Moreover, much of the reduction in resistance can be achieved for just a few shells; in contrast, litz wire would need to contain ∼10^{4} strands to perform comparably in this frequency range.
We show how to compute Casimir forces at nonzero temperatures with time-domain electromagnetic simulations, for example using a finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. Compared to our previous zero-temperature time-domain method, only a small modification is required, but we explain that some care is required to properly capture the zero-frequency contribution. We validate the method against analytical and numerical frequency-domain calculations, and show a surprising high-temperature disappearance of a non-monotonic behavior previously demonstrated in a pistonlike geometry.
Our previous article [Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 060401 (2010)] predicted that Casimir forces induced by the material-dispersion properties of certain dielectrics can give rise to stable configurations of objects. This phenomenon was illustrated via a dicluster configuration of non-touching objects consisting of two spheres immersed in a fluid and suspended against gravity above a plate. Here, we examine these predictions from the perspective of a practical experiment and consider the influence of non-additive, three-body, and nonzero-temperature effects on the stability of the two spheres. We conclude that the presence of Brownian motion reduces the set of experimentally realizable silicon/teflon spherical diclusters to those consisting of layered micro-spheres, such as the hollow core (spherical shells) considered here.
We show that some previous proposals for perfectly matched layer (PML) absorbers in anisotropic media or for waveguides at oblique incidence are not, in fact true PMLs; in previous work we similarly showed a failure of several PML proposals for periodic media (photonic crystals). We therefore argue that a more careful validation scheme is required for PML proposals, in contrast to past authors who have typically checked only that reflections are small for a fixed resolution, and suggest a simple validation scheme that can be readily applied to any PML proposal regardless of derivation or implementation. We demonstrate this test for a corrected, unsplit-field PML valid for anisotropic, dispersive media, implemented in both planewave-expansion and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) methods.
In 1948, Hendrik Casimir predicted that a generalized version of van der Waals forces would arise between two metal plates due to quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. These forces become significant in micromechanical systems at submicrometre scales, such as in the adhesion between movable parts. The Casimir force, through a close connection to classical photonics, can depend strongly on the shapes and compositions of the objects, stimulating a decades-long search for geometries in which the force behaves very differently from the monotonic attractive force first predicted by Casimir. Recent theoretical and experimental developments have led to a new understanding of the force in complex microstructured geometries, including through recent theoretical predictions of Casimir repulsion between vacuum-separated metals, the stable suspension of objects and unusual non-additive and temperature effects, as well as experimental observations of repulsion in fluids, non-additive forces in nanotrench surfaces and the influence of new material choices.
We demonstrate theoretical conditions for highly-efficient degenerate four-wave mixing in triply-resonant nonlinear (Kerr) cavities. We employ a general and accurate temporal coupled-mode analysis in which the interaction of light in arbitrary microcavities is expressed in terms a set of coupling coefficients that we rigorously derive from the full Maxwell equations. Using the coupled-mode theory, we show that light consisting of an input signal of frequency ω_{0}-Δω can, in the presence of pump light at ω_{0}, be converted with quantum-limited efficiency into an output shifted signal of frequency ω_{0} + Δω, and we derive expressions for the critical input powers at which this occurs. We find that critical powers in the order of 10mW assuming very conservative cavity parameters (modal volumes ∼10 cubic wavelengths and quality factors ∼1000. The standard Manley-Rowe efficiency limits are obtained from the solution of the classical coupled-mode equations, although we also derive them from simple photon-counting “quantum” arguments. Finally, using a linear stability analysis, we demonstrate that maximal conversion efficiency can be retained even in the presence of self- and cross-phase modulation effects that generally act to disrupt the resonance condition.
Fast surface integral equation (SIE) methods seem to be ideal for simulating 3-D nanophotonic devices, as such devices generate fields in both the interior device volume and in the infinite exterior domain. SIE methods were originally developed for computing scattering from structures with finite surfaces, and since SIE methods automatically represent the infinite extent of the exterior scattered field, there was no need to develop numerical absorbers. Numerical absorbers are needed when SIE methods are used to simulate nanophotonic devices that process or couple light, to provide nonreflecting termination at the optical ports of such devices. In this paper, we focus on the problem of developing an approach to absorbers that are suitable for port termination, yet preserve the surface-only discretization and the geometry-independent Green's function properties of the SIE methods. Preserving these properties allows the absorber approach to be easily incorporated in commonly used fast solvers. We describe our solution to the absorber problem, that of using a gradually increasing surface conductivity, and show how to include surface conductivity in SIE methods. We also analyze numerical results using our absorber approach to terminate a finite-length rectangular cross section dielectric waveguide. The numerical results demonstrate that our surface-conductivity absorber can easily achieve a reflected power of less than 10^{-7}, and that the magnitude of the transition reflection is proportional to 1/L^{2d+2}, where L is the absorber length and d is the order of the differentiability of the surface conductivity function.
We demonstrate that tunable attractive (bonding) and repulsive (anti-bonding) forces can arise in highly asymmetric structures coupled to external radiation, a consequence of the bonding/anti-bonding level repulsion of guided-wave resonances that was first predicted in symmetric systems. Our focus is a geometry consisting of a photonic-crystal (holey) membrane suspended above an unpatterned layered substrate, supporting planar waveguide modes that can couple via the periodic modulation of the holey membrane. Asymmetric geometries have a clear advantage in ease of fabrication and experimental characterization compared to symmetric double-membrane structures. We show that the asymmetry can also lead to unusual behavior in the force magnitudes of a bonding/antibonding pair as the membrane separation changes, including nonmonotonic dependences on the separation. We propose a computational method that obtains the entire force spectrum via a single time-domain simulation, by Fourier-transforming the response to a short pulse and thereby obtaining the frequency-dependent stress tensor. We point out that by operating with two, instead of a single frequency, these evanescent forces can be exploited to tune the spring constant of the membrane without changing its equilibrium separation.
In this paper, we show that bone piezoelectricity—a phenomenon in which bone polarizes electrically in response to an applied mechanical stress and produces a short-range electric field—may be a source of intense blast-induced electric fields in the brain, with magnitudes and timescales comparable to fields with known neurological effects. We compute the induced charge density in the skull from stress data on the skull from a finite-element full-head model simulation of a typical IED-scale blast wave incident on an unhelmeted human head as well as a human head protected by a kevlar helmet, and estimate the resulting electric fields in the brain in both cases to be on the order of 10 V/m in millisecond pulses. These fields are more than 10 times stronger than the IEEE safety guidelines for controlled environments (IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 28, 2002) and comparable in strength and timescale to fields from repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) that are designed to induce neurological effects (Wagner et al., 2006a). They can be easily measured by RF antennas, and may provide the means to design a diagnostic tool that records a quantitative measure of the head's exposure to blast insult.
We examine a recent prediction for the chirality dependence of the Casimir force in chiral metamaterials by numerical computation of the forces between the exact microstructures, rather than homogeneous approximations. Although repulsion in the metamaterial regime is rigorously impossible, it is unknown whether a reduction in the attractive force can be achieved through suitable material engineering. We compute the exact force for a chiral bent-cross pattern, as well as forces for an idealized “omega”-particle medium in the dilute approximation and identify the effects of structural inhomogeneity (i.e., proximity forces and anisotropy). We find that these microstructure effects dominate the force for separations where chirality was predicted to have a strong influence. At separations where the homogeneous approximation is valid, in even the most ideal circumstances the effects of chirality are less than 10^{−4} of the total force, making them virtually undetectable in experiments.
We give an example of a geometry in which two metallic objects in vacuum experience a repulsive Casimir force. The geometry consists of an elongated metal particle centered above a metal plate with a hole. We prove that this geometry has a repulsive regime using a symmetry argument and confirm it with numerical calculations for both perfect and realistic metals. The system does not support stable levitation, as the particle is unstable to displacements away from the symmetry axis.
Despite their great promise, small experimental thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems at 1000 K generally exhibit extremely low power conversion efficiencies (approximately 1%), due to heat losses such as thermal emission of undesirable mid-wavelength infrared radiation. Photonic crystals (PhC) have the potential to strongly suppress such losses. However, PhC-based designs present a set of non-convex optimization problems requiring efficient objective function evaluation and global optimization algorithms. Both are applied to two example systems: improved micro-TPV generators and solar thermal TPV systems. Micro-TPV reactors experience up to a 27-fold increase in their efficiency and power output; solar thermal TPV systems see an even greater 45-fold increase in their efficiency (exceeding the Shockley–Quiesser limit for a single-junction photovoltaic cell).
We propose a method of achieving large temperature T sensitivity in the Casimir force that involves measuring the stable separation between dielectric objects immersed in a fluid. We study the Casimir force between slabs and spheres using realistic material models, and find large >2 nm/K variations in their stable separations (hundreds of nanometers) near room temperature. In addition, we analyze the effects of Brownian motion on suspended objects, and show that the average separation is also sensitive to changes in T. Finally, this approach also leads to rich qualitative phenomena, such as irreversible transitions, from suspension to stiction, as T is varied.
Meep is a broadly used open source package for finite-difference time-domain electromagnetic simulations. Python bindings for Meep make it easier to use for researchers and open promising opportunities for integration with other packages in the Python ecosystem. As this project shows, implementing Python-Meep offers benefits for specific disciplines and for the wider research community.
We show that the difficulty of cloaking is fundamentally limited by delay-loss and delay-bandwidth limitations that worsen as the size of the object to be cloaked increases relative to the wavelength, using a simple model of ground-plane cloaking. These limitations must be considered when scaling experimental cloaking demonstrations up from wavelength-scale objects.
We derive a correspondence between the contour integration of the Casimir stress tensor in the complex-frequency plane and the electromagnetic response of a physical dissipative medium in a finite real-frequency bandwidth. The consequences of this correspondence are at least threefold: First, the correspondence makes it easier to understand Casimir systems from the perspective of conventional classical electromagnetism, based on real-frequency responses, in contrast to the standard imaginary-frequency point of view based on Wick rotations. Second, it forms the starting point of finite-difference time-domain numerical techniques for calculation of Casimir forces in arbitrary geometries. Finally, this correspondence is also key to a technique for computing quantum Casimir forces at micrometer scales using antenna measurements at tabletop (e.g., centimeter) scales, forming a type of analog computer for the Casimir force. Superficially, relationships between the Casimir force and the classical electromagnetic Green’s function are well known, so one might expect that any experimental measurement of the Green’s function would suffice to calculate the Casimir force. However, we show that the standard forms of this relationship lead to infeasible experiments involving infinite bandwidth or exponentially growing fields, and a fundamentally different formulation is therefore required.
We prove, via an elementary variational method, 1d and 2d localization within the band gaps of a periodic Schrödinger operator for any mostly negative or mostly positive defect potential, V, whose depth is not too great compared to the size of the gap. In a similar way, we also prove sufficient conditions for 1d and 2d localization below the ground state of such an operator. Furthermore, we extend our results to 1d and 2d localization in d dimensions; for example, a linear or planar defect in a 3d crystal. For the case of D-fold degenerate band edges, we also give sufficient conditions for localization of up to D states.
We present a scheme for obtaining stable Casimir suspension of dielectric nontouching objects immersed in a fluid, validated here in various geometries consisting of ethanol-separated dielectric spheres and semi-infinite slabs. Stability is induced by the dispersion properties of real dielectric (monolithic) materials. A consequence of this effect is the possibility of stable configurations (clusters) of compact objects, which we illustrate via a molecular two-sphere dicluster geometry consisting of two bound spheres levitated above a gold slab. Our calculations also reveal a strong interplay between material and geometric dispersion, and this is exemplified by the qualitatively different stability behavior observed in planar versus spherical geometries.
In this letter, we show theoretically how the light-confining properties of triply-resonant photonic resonators can be tailored to enable dramatic enhancements of the conversion efficiency of terahertz (THz) generation via nonlinear frequency down-conversion processes. Using detailed numerical calculations, we predict that this approach can be used to reduce up to three orders of magnitude the pump powers required to reach quantum-limited conversion efficiency of THz generation in conventional nonlinear optical material systems. Furthermore, we propose a realistic design readily accessible experimentally, both for fabrication and demonstration of optimal THz conversion efficiency at sub-W power levels.
Our previous article [Phys. Rev. A 80, 012115 (2009)] introduced a method to compute Casimir forces in arbitrary geometries and for arbitrary materials that was based on a finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) scheme. In this article, we focus on the efficient implementation of our method for geometries of practical interest and extend our previous proof-of-concept algorithm in one dimension to problems in two and three dimensions, introducing a number of new optimizations. We consider Casimir pistonlike problems with nonmonotonic and monotonic force dependence on sidewall separation, both for previously solved geometries to validate our method and also for new geometries involving magnetic sidewalls and/or cylindrical pistons. We include realistic dielectric materials to calculate the force between suspended silicon waveguides or on a suspended membrane with periodic grooves, also demonstrating the application of perfectly matched layer (PML) absorbing boundaries and/or periodic boundaries. In addition, we apply this method to a realizable three-dimensional system in which a silica sphere is stably suspended in a fluid above an indented metallic substrate. More generally, the method allows off-the-shelf FDTD software, already supporting a wide variety of materials (including dielectric, magnetic, and even anisotropic materials) and boundary conditions, to be exploited for the Casimir problem.
This paper describes Meep, a popular free implementation of the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method for simulating electromagnetism. In particular, we focus on aspects of implementing a full-featured FDTD package that go beyond standard textbook descriptions of the algorithm, or ways in which Meep differs from typical FDTD implementations. These include pervasive interpolation and accurate modeling of subpixel features, advanced signal processing, support for nonlinear materials via Padé approximants, and flexible scripting capabilities.
We propose a scheme for efficient cavity-enhanced nonlinear THz generation via difference-frequency generation (DFG) processes using a triply resonant system based on photonic crystal cavities. We show that high nonlinear overlap can be achieved by coupling a THz cavity to a doubly-resonant, dual-polarization near-infrared (e.g. telecom band) photonic-crystal nanobeam cavity, allowing the mixing of three mutually orthogonal fundamental cavity modes through a χ^{(2)} nonlinearity. We demonstrate through coupled-mode theory that complete depletion of the pump frequency – i.e., quantum-limited conversion – We show that the output power at the point of optimal total conversion efficiency is adjustable by varying the mode quality (Q) factors.
Finite-difference time-domain methods suffer from reduced accuracy when discretizing discontinuous materials. We previously showed that accuracy can be significantly improved by using subpixel smoothing of the isotropic dielectric function, but only if the smoothing scheme is properly designed. Using recent developments in perturbation theory that were applied to spectral methods, we extend this idea to anisotropic media and demonstrate that the generalized smoothing consistently reduces the errors and even attains second-order convergence with resolution.
We present a method to compute Casimir forces in arbitrary geometries and for arbitrary materials based on the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) scheme. The method involves the time evolution of electric and magnetic fields in response to a set of current sources, in a modified medium with frequency-independent conductivity. The advantage of this approach is that it allows one to exploit existing FDTD software, without modification, to compute Casimir forces. In this paper, we focus on the derivation, implementation choices, and essential properties of the time-domain algorithm, both considered analytically and illustrated in the simplest parallel-plate geometry.
Two novel classes of spherical invisibility cloaks based on nonlinear transformation have been studied. The cloaking characteristics are presented by segmenting the nonlinear transformation based spherical cloak into concentric isotropic homogeneous coatings. Detailed investigations of the optimal discretization (e.g., thickness control of each layer, nonlinear factor, etc.) are presented for both linear and nonlinear spherical cloaks and their effects on invisibility performance are also discussed. The cloaking properties and our choice of optimal segmentation are verified by the numerical simulation of not only near-field electric-field distribution but also the far-field radar cross section (RCS).
We introduce an efficient technique for computing Casimir energies and forces between objects of arbitrarily complex 3D geometries. In contrast to other recently developed methods, our technique easily handles non-spheroidal, non-axisymmetric objects and objects with sharp corners. Using our new technique, we obtain the first predictions of Casimir interactions in a number of experimentally relevant geometries, including crossed cylinders and tetrahedral nanoparticles.
We demonstrate that the ratio of group to phase velocity has a simple relationship to the orientation of the electromagnetic field. In nondispersive materials, opposite group and phase velocity corresponds to fields that are mostly oriented in the propagation direction. More generally, this relationship (including the case of dispersive and negative-index materials) offers a perspective on the phenomena of backward waves and left-handed media. As an application of this relationship, we demonstrate and explain an irrecoverable failure of perfectly matched layer absorbing boundaries in computer simulations for constant cross-section waveguides with backward-wave modes and suggest an alternative in the form of adiabatic isotropic absorbers.
We demonstrate that a holey photonic-crystal fiber with chalcogenide-glass index contrast can be designed to have a complete gap at a propagation constant β= 0 that also extends into the non-zero β region. This type of bandgap (previously identified only at index contrasts unattainable in glasses) opens up a regime for guiding zero–group-velocity modes not possible in holey fibers with the more common finger-like gaps originating from β→∞. Such modes could be used to enhance nonlinear and other material interactions, such as for hollow-core fibers in gas-sensor applications.
In this work, we present the design of an integrated photonic-crystal polarization beam splitter (PC-PBS) and a low-loss photonic-crystal 60^{o} waveguide bend. Firstly, the modal properties of the PC-PBS and the mechanism of the low-loss waveguide bend are investigated by the two-dimensional finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method, and then the integration of the two devices is studied. It shows that, although the individual devices perform well separately, the performance of the integrated circuit is poor due to the multi-mode property of the PC-PBS. By introducing deformed airhole structures, a single-mode PC-PBS is proposed, which significantly enhance the performance of the circuit with the extinction ratios remaining above 20dB for both transverse-electric (TE) and transverse-magnetic (TM) polarizations. Both the specific result and the general idea of integration design are promising in the photonic crystal integrated circuits in the future.
We present a comprehensive study of second-order nonlinear difference frequency generation in triply resonant cavities using a theoretical framework based on coupled-mode theory. We show that optimal quantum-limited conversion efficiency can be achieved at any pump power when the powers at the pump and idler frequencies satisfy a critical relationship. We demonstrate the existence of a broad parameter range in which all triply-resonant DFG processes exhibit monostable conversion. We also demonstrate the existence of a geometry-dependent bistable region.
The front-coating (FC) of a solar cell controls its efficiency, determining admission of light into the absorbing material and potentially trapping light to enhance thin absorbers. Single-layer FC designs are well known, especially for thick absorbers where their only purpose is to reduce reflections. Multilayer FCs could improve performance, but require global optimization to design. For narrow bandwidths, one can always achieve nearly 100% absorption. For the entire solar bandwidth, however, a second FC layer improves performance by 6.1% for 256 μm wafer-based cells, or by 3.6% for 2 μm thin-film cells, while additional layers yield rapidly diminishing returns.
We propose a two dimensional (2D) photonic crystal (PhC) structure that supports super-collimation over a large frequency range (over 4 times that of a traditional square lattice of holes). We theoretically and numerically investigate the collimation mechanism in our 2D structure, in comparison to that of two other frequently used related PhC structures. We also point out the potential importance of our proposed structure in the design of super-collimation-based devices for both monochromatic and polychromatic light.
This article concerns the design of tapers for coupling power between uniform and slow-light periodic waveguides. New optimization methods are described for designing robust tapers, which not only perform well under nominal conditions, but also over a given set of parameter variations. When the set of parameter variations models the inevitable variations typical in the manufacture or operation of the coupler, a robust design is one that will have a high yield, despite these parameter variations. The ideas of successive refinement, and robust optimization based on multi-scenario optimization with iterative sampling of uncertain parameters, using a fast method for approximately evaluating the reflection coefficient, are introduced. Robust design results are compared to a linear taper, and to optimized tapers that do not take parameter variation into account. Finally, robust performance of the resulting designs is verified using an accurate, but much more expensive, method for evaluating the reflection coefficient.
We describe a theoretical analysis of the nonlinear dynamics of third-harmonic generation (ω→3ω) via Kerr (χ^{(3)}) nonlinearities in a resonant cavity with resonances at both ω and 3ω. Such a doubly resonant cavity greatly reduces the required power for efficient harmonic generation, by a factor of ∼V/Q^{2} where V is the modal volume and Q is the lifetime, and can even exhibit 100% harmonic conversion efficiency at a critical input power. However, we show that it also exhibits a rich variety of nonlinear dynamics, such as multistable solutions and long-period limit cycles. We describe how to compensate for self- and cross-phase modulation (which otherwise shifts the cavity frequencies out of resonance), and how to excite the different stable solutions (and especially the high-efficiency solutions) by specially modulated input pulses.
We numerically demonstrate a stable mechanical suspension of a silica cylinder within a metallic cylinder separated by ethanol, via a repulsive Casimir force between the silica and the metal. We investigate cylinders with both circular and square cross sections, and show that the latter exhibit a stable orientation as well as a stable position, via a method to compute Casimir torques for finite objects. Furthermore, the stable orientation of the square cylinder undergoes a 45^{o} transition as the separation length scale is varied, which is explained as a consequence of material dispersion.
Discussion of the considerations involved in high-performance FFT implementations, which center largely on memory access and other non-arithmetic concerns, as illustrated by a case study of the FFTW library.
We establish rigorous necessary analytical conditions for the existence of single-polarization single-mode (SPSM) bandwidths in index-guided microstructured waveguides (such as photonic-crystal fibers). These conditions allow us to categorize designs for SPSM waveguides into four strategies, at least one of which seems previously unexplored. Conversely, we obtain rigorous sufficient conditions for the existence of two cutoff-free index-guided modes in a wide variety of microstructured dielectric waveguides with arbitrary periodic claddings, based on the existence of a degenerate fundamental mode of the cladding (a degenerate light line). We show how such a degenerate light line, in turn, follows from the symmetry of the cladding.
We develop a coupled mode theory (CMT) model of the behavior of a polarization source in a general photonic structure, and obtain an analytical expression for the resulting generated electric field; loss, gain and/or nonlinearities can also be modeled. Based on this treatment, we investigate the criteria needed to achieve an enhancement in various nonlinear effects, and to produce efficient sources of terahertz radiation, in particular. Our results agree well with exact finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) results. Therefore, this approach can also in certain circumstances be used as a potential substitute for the more numerically intensive FDTD method.
Although perfectly matched layers (PMLs) have been widely used to truncate numerical simulations of electromagnetism and other wave equations, we point out important cases in which a PML fails to be reflectionless even in the limit of infinite resolution. In particular, the underlying coordinate-stretching idea behind PML breaks down in photonic crystals and in other structures where the material is not an analytic function in the direction perpendicular to the boundary, leading to substantial reflections. The alternative is an adiabatic absorber, in which reflections are made negligible by gradually increasing the material absorption at the boundaries, similar to a common strategy to combat discretization reflections in PMLs. We demonstrate the fundamental connection between such reflections and the smoothness of the absorption profile via coupled-mode theory, and show how to obtain higher-order and even exponential vanishing of the reflection with absorber thickness (although further work remains in optimizing the constant factor).
We describe a three-dimensional geometry in which both attractive and repulsive Casimir forces arise using ordinary metallic materials, as computed via an exact numerical method (no uncontrolled approximations). The geometry consists of a zipperlike, glide-symmetric structure formed of interleaved metal brackets attached to parallel plates—because of the interleaving pattern, a net repulsive force can arise from a combination of attractive interactions. Depending on the separation, the perpendicular force between the plates and brackets varies from attractive (large separations) to repulsive (intermediate distances) and back to attractive (close separations), with one point of stable equilibrium in the perpendicular direction. This geometry was motivated by a simple intuition of attractive interactions between surfaces, and so we also consider how a rough proximity-force approximation of pairwise attractions compares to the exact calculations.
We derive a sufficient condition for the existence of index-guided modes in a very general class of dielectric waveguides, including photonic-crystal fibers (arbitrary periodic claddings, such as “holey fibers”), anisotropic materials, and waveguides with periodicity along the propagation direction. This condition provides a rigorous guarantee of cutoff-free index-guided modes in any such structure where the core is formed by increasing the index of refraction (e.g. removing a hole). It also provides a weaker guarantee of guidance in cases where the refractive index is increased “on average” (precisely defined). The proof is based on a simple variational method, inspired by analogous proofs of localization for two-dimensional attractive potentials in quantum mechanics.
We present algorithms for the type-IV discrete cosine transform (DCT-IV) and discrete sine transform (DST-IV), as well as for the modified discrete cosine transform (MDCT) and its inverse, that achieve a lower count of real multiplications and additions than previously published algorithms, without sacrificing numerical accuracy. Asymptotically, the operation count is reduced from 2Nlog_{2}N + O(N) to (17)/(9)Nlog_{2}N + O(N) for a power-of-two transform size N, and the exact count is strictly lowered for N ≥8. These results are derived by considering the DCT to be a special case of a DFT of length 8N, with certain symmetries, and then pruning redundant operations from a recent improved fast Fourier transform algorithm (based on a recursive rescaling of the conjugate-pair split radix algorithm). The improved algorithms for DST-IV and MDCT follow immediately from the improved count for the DCT-IV.
We present algorithms for the discrete cosine transform (DCT) and discrete sine transform (DST), of types II and III, that achieve a lower count of real multiplications and additions than previously published algorithms, without sacrificing numerical accuracy. Asymptotically, the operation count is reduced from 2 N log_{2} N + O(N) to (17)/(9) N log_{2} N + O(N) for a power-of-two transform size N. Furthermore, we show that a further N multiplications may be saved by a certain rescaling of the inputs or outputs, generalizing a well-known technique for N=8 by Arai et al. These results are derived by considering the DCT to be a special case of a DFT of length 4N, with certain symmetries, and then pruning redundant operations from a recent improved fast Fourier transform algorithm (based on a recursive rescaling of the conjugate-pair split radix algorithm). The improved algorithms for DCT-III, DST-II, and DST-III follow immediately from the improved count for the DCT-II.
We derive a correct first-order perturbation theory in electromagnetism for cases where an interface between two anisotropic dielectric materials is slightly shifted. Most previous perturbative methods give incorrect results for this case, even to lowest order, because of the complicated discontinuous boundary conditions on the electric field at such an interface. Our final expression is simply a surface integral, over the material interface, of the continuous field components from the unperturbed structure. The derivation is based on a “localized” coordinate-transformation technique, which avoids both the problem of field discontinuities and the challenge of constructing an explicit coordinate transformation by taking a limit in which a coordinate perturbation is infinitesimally localized around the boundary. Not only is our result potentially useful in evaluating boundary perturbations, e.g. from fabrication imperfections, in highly anisotropic media such as many metamaterials, but it also has a direct application in numerical electromagnetism. In particular, we show how it leads to a sub-pixel smoothing scheme to ameliorate staircasing effects in discretized simulations of anisotropic media, in such a way as to greatly reduce the numerical errors compared to other proposed smoothing schemes.
We analyze the Casimir force between two parallel infinite metal cylinders with nearby metal plates using two methods. Surprisingly, the attractive force between cylinders depends nonmonotonically on the separation from the plate(s), and the cylinder-plate force depends nonmonotonically on the separation of the cylinders. These multibody phenomenona do not follow from simple two-body force descriptions. We can explain the nonmonotonicity with the screening (enhancement) of the interactions by the fluctuating charges (currents) on the two cylinders and their images on the nearby plate(s).
Previous methods for determining photonic quasicrystal (PQC) spectra have relied on the use of large supercells to compute the eigenfrequencies and/or local density of states (LDOS). In this manuscript, we present a method by which the energy spectrum and the eigenstates of a PQC can be obtained by solving Maxwell's equations in higher dimensions for any PQC defined by the standard cut-and-project construction, to which a generalization of Bloch's theorem applies. In addition, we demonstrate how one can compute band structures with defect states in the higher-dimensional superspace with no additional computational cost. As a proof of concept, these general ideas are demonstrated for the simple case of one-dimensional quasicrystals, which can also be solved by simple transfer-matrix techniques.
Since it was first published in 1995, Photonic Crystals has remained the definitive text for both undergraduates and researchers on photonic band-gap materials and their use in controlling the propagation of light. This newly expanded and revised edition covers the latest developments in the field, providing the most up-to-date, concise, and comprehensive book available on these novel materials and their applications.Starting from Maxwell's equations and Fourier analysis, the authors develop the theoretical tools of photonics using principles of linear algebra and symmetry, emphasizing analogies with traditional solid-state physics and quantum theory. They then investigate the unique phenomena that take place within photonic crystals at defect sites and surfaces, from one to three dimensions. This new edition includes entirely new chapters describing important hybrid structures that use band gaps or periodicity only in some directions: periodic waveguides, photonic-crystal slabs, and photonic-crystal fibers. The authors demonstrate how the capabilities of photonic crystals to localize light can be put to work in devices such as filters and splitters. A new appendix provides an overview of computational methods for electromagnetism. Existing chapters have been considerably updated and expanded to include many new three-dimensional photonic crystals, an extensive tutorial on device design using temporal coupled-mode theory, discussions of diffraction and refraction at crystal interfaces, and more. Richly illustrated and accessibly written, Photonic Crystals is an indispensable resource for students and researchers.
We present analytical results that shed new light on the properties of photonic-crystal fibers (optical fibers with periodic structures in their cladding). First, we discuss a general theorem, applicable to any periodic cladding structure, that gives rigorous conditions for the existence of cutoff-free guided modes-it lets you look at a structure, in most cases without calculation, and by inspection give a rigorous guarantee that index-guiding will occur. This theorem especially illuminates the long-wavelength limit, which has proved diffcult to study numerically, to show that the index-guided modes in photonic-crystal fibers (like their step-index counterparts) need not have any theoretical cutoff for guidance. Second, we look in the opposite regime, that of very short wavelengths. As previously identified by other authors, there is a scalar approximation that becomes exact in this limit, even for very high contrast fibers. We show that this “scalar” limit has consequences for practical operation at finite wavelengths that do not seem to have been fully appreciated: it tells you when band gaps arise and between which bands, reveals the symmetry and “LP” degeneracies of the modes, and predicts the scaling of cladding-related losses (roughness, absorption, etc.) as the size of a hollow core is increased.
We examine differences between various zero-group-velocity modes in photonic crystals, including those that arise from Bragg diffraction, anticrossings, and band repulsion. Zero-group velocity occurs at points where the group velocity changes sign, and therefore is conceptually related to “left-hande” media, in which the group velocity is opposite to the phase velocity. We consider this relationship more quantitatively in terms of the Fourier decomposition of the modes, by defining a measure of how much the “average” phase velocity is parallel to the group velocity—an anomalous region is one in which they are mostly antiparallel. We find that this quantity can be used to qualitatively distinguish different zero-group-velocity points. In one dimension, such anomalous regions are found never to occur. In higher dimensions, they are exhibited around certain zero-group-velocity points, and lead to unusual enhanced confinement behavior in microcavities.
Using the ray-optics approximation, we analyze the Casimir force in a two-dimensional domain formed by two metallic blocks adjacent to parallel metallic sidewalls, which are separated from the blocks by a finite distance h. For h>0, the ray-optics approach is not exact because diffraction effects are neglected. Nevertheless, we show that ray optics is able to qualitatively reproduce a surprising effect recently identified in an exact numerical calculation: the force between the blocks varies nonmonotonically with h. In this sense, the ray-optics approach captures an essential part of the physics of multibody interactions in this system, unlike simpler pairwise-interaction approximations such as proximity force approximations (PFA). Furthermore, by comparison to the exact numerical results, we are able to quantify the impact of diffraction on Casimir forces in this geometry.
Nonlinear photonic-crystal microresonators offer unique fundamental ways of enhancing a variety of nonlinear optical processes. This enhancement improves the performance of nonlinear optical devices to such an extent that their corresponding operation powers and switching times are suitable for their implementation in realistic ultrafast integrated optical devices. Here, we review three different nonlinear optical phenomena that can be strongly enhanced in photonic crystal microcavities. First, we discuss a system in which this enhancement has been successfully demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally, namely, a photonic crystal cavity showing optical bistability properties. In this part, we also present the physical basis for this dramatic improvement with respect to the case of traditional nonlinear devices based on nonlinear Fabry-Perot etalons. Secondly, we show how nonlinear photonic crystal cavities can be also used to obtain complete second-harmonic frequency conversion at very low input powers. Finally, we demonstrate that the nonlinear susceptibility of materials can be strongly modified via the so-called Purcell effect, present in the resonant cavities under study.
We describe a numerical method to compute Casimir forces in arbitrary geometries, for arbitrary dielectric and metallic materials, with arbitrary accuracy (given sufficient computational resources). Our approach, based on well-established integration of the mean stress tensor evaluated via the fluctuation-dissipation theorem, is designed to directly exploit fast methods developed for classical computational electromagnetism, since it only involves repeated evaluation of the Green's function for imaginary frequencies (equivalently, real frequencies in imaginary time). We develop the approach by systematically examining various formulations of Casimir forces from the previous decades and evaluating them according to their suitability for numerical computation. We illustrate our approach with a simple finite-difference frequency-domain implementation, test it for known geometries such as a cylinder and a plate, and apply it to new geometries. In particular, we show that a pistonlike geometry of two squares sliding between metal walls, in both two and three dimensions with both perfect and realistic metallic materials, exhibits a surprising non-monotonic “lateral” force from the walls.
In this paper, we review various numerical methods currently used to model nonlinear optical processes in nanophotonics. Among the different theoretical frameworks that have been used to study nonlinear photonic structures, we particularly focus on the application of both perturbation theory and coupled-mode theory to the analysis of complex nonlinear nanophotonic devices. This description is illustrated on several examples of how these techniques can be used to design photonic-crystal-based nonlinear devices. In addition, in all these examples, we show that the predictions made by the two mentioned techniques are in a good agreement with the numerical results obtained from a nonlinear finite-difference-time-domain approach to these problems.
We present a method of computing Casimir forces for arbitrary geometries, with any desired accuracy, that can directly exploit the efficiency of standard numerical-electromagnetism techniques. Using the simplest possible finite-difference implementation of this approach, we obtain both agreement with past results for cylinder-plate geometries, and also present results for new geometries. In particular, we examine a pistonlike problem involving two dielectric and metallic squares sliding between two metallic walls, in two and three dimensions, respectively, and demonstrate nonadditive and nonmonotonic changes in the force due to these lateral walls.
We derive general conditions for 100% frequency conversion in any doubly resonant nonlinear cavity, for both second- and third-harmonic generation via χ^{(2)} and χ^{(3)} nonlinearities. We find that conversion efficiency is optimized for a certain “critical” power depending on the cavity parameters, and assuming reasonable parameters we predict 100% conversion using milliwatts of power or less. These results follow from a semi-analytical coupled-mode theory framework which is generalized from previous work to include both χ^{(2)} and χ^{(3)} media as well as inhomogeneous (fully vectorial) cavities, analyzed in the high-efficiency limit where down-conversion processes lead to a maximum efficiency at the critical power, and which is verified by direct finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations of the nonlinear Maxwell equations. Explicit formulas for the nonlinear coupling coefficients are derived in terms of the linear cavity eigenmodes, which can be used to design and evaluate cavities in arbitrary geometries.
Recent results by Van Buskirk et al. have broken the record set by Yavne in 1968 for the lowest exact count of real additions and multiplications to compute a power-of-two discrete Fourier transform (DFT). Here, we present a simple recursive modification of the split-radix algorithm that computes the DFT with asymptotically about 6% fewer operations than Yavne, matching the count achieved by Van Buskirk's program-generation framework. We also discuss the application of our algorithm to real-data and real-symmetric (discrete cosine) transforms, where we are again able to achieve lower arithmetic counts than previously published algorithms.
This paper demonstrates switching of a single signal photon by a single gating photon of a different frequency, via a cross-phase-modulation. This effect is mediated by materials exhibiting electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), which are embedded in photonic crystals (PhCs). An analytical model based on waveguide-cavity QED is constructed for our system, which consists of a PhC waveguide and a PhC microcavity containing a four-level EIT atom. It is solved exactly and analyzed using experimentally accessible parameters. It is found that the strong coupling regime is required for lossless two-photon quantum entanglement.
Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) methods suffer from reduced accuracy when modeling discontinuous dielectric materials, due to the inhererent discretization (pixelization). We show that accuracy can be significantly improved by using a subpixel smoothing of the dielectric function, but only if the smoothing scheme is properly designed. We develop such a scheme based on a simple criterion taken from perturbation theory and compare it with other published FDTD smoothing methods. In addition to consistently achieving the smallest errors, our scheme is the only one that attains quadratic convergence with resolution for arbitrarily sloped interfaces. Finally, we discuss additional difficulties that arise for sharp dielectric corners.
We study the radiation emitted by an oscillating dipole moving with a constant velocity in a photonic crystal, and analyze the effects that arise in the presence of a photonic band gap. It is demonstrated through numerical simulations that the radiation strength may be enhanced or inhibited according to the photonic band structure, and anomalous effects in the sign and magnitude of the Doppler shifts are possible, both outside and inside the gap. We suggest that this effect could be used to identify the physical origin of the backward waves in recent metamaterials.
We show that two-dimensional photonic crystals can be designed to have dispersion relations with an extended ultraflat cross-section, meaning that for a fixed wave vector wave vector component k_{x} the frequency of a band is almost constant when the other wave vector component k_{y} takes all possible values. these ultra-flat are the result of a non-trivial saddle point in the dispersion relation located in the interior of the Brillouin zone. Interesting consequences include 1D-like behavior, improved super-collimation, and enhanced density of states.
We study tunable time-delay devices in which the time delay is tuned by changing the group velocity of the propagating signal. The device is designed to place the operating frequency near a photonic band edge. This enhances the change in delay for a given tuning range of the device refractive index. Here we provide an extended explanation of mode symmetry, nomenclature, and the complete band structure of a sample, integrated device to aid the understanding of our previously published work.
Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) methods suffer from reduced accuracy when modeling discontinuous dielectric materials, due to the inhererent discretization (“pixellization”). We show that accuracy can be significantly improved by using a sub-pixel smoothing of the dielectric function, but only if the smoothing scheme is properly designed. We develop such a scheme based on a simple criterion taken from perturbation theory, and compare it to other published FDTD smoothing methods. In addition to consistently achieving the smallest errors, our scheme is the only one that attains quadratic convergence with resolution for arbitrarily sloped interfaces. Finally, we discuss additional difficulties that arise for sharp dielectric corners.
We investigate the extension of optical micromanipulation to integrated optics. In particular, we consider whether propagating light signals can cause mechanical reconfiguration of a device. While such forces are intrinsically weak, we predict theoretically that significant displacements can be achieved using various enhancement mechanisms. These include the use of high-index materials, high-Q (cavity quality factor) enhancement, and slow light in photonic crystals. Silicon optical waveguides have a considerable refractive index contrast with the surrounding air, with a ratio of roughly 3.45/1 at optical communications wavelengths. We show that the strong confinement of light to silicon magnifies optical forces arising from overlap in the guided modes of neighboring waveguides. Silica microsphere resonators are known to have extremely high cavity quality factors, in excess of 108. We show that the quality factor of the resonator magnifies the optical force due to modal overlap between two neighboring spheres. Thirdly, we investigate slow-light enhancement of optical forces using photonic-crystal devices. We show that slow-light velocities give rise to larger forces for the same amount of signal power, enhancing optomechanical coupling effects. In addition to being of fundamental interest, our work suggests that optical manipulation may ultimately provide a route to all-optical conformational control and switching.
We demonstrate by finite-difference time-domain simulations in 2D and 3D that optical cavities in realistic finite photonic crystals have lifetimes and modal volumes that are essentially insensitive to disorder (of various types, including surface disorder and randomized positions), even with unphysically large disorder. A lifetime Q=10^{8} is demonstrated in a 3D single-mode cavity with a half-wavelength mode diameter using only eight vertical periods of a disordered crystal.
We investigate heating from field propagation, coupling, and bending, which are the potential failure mechanisms for an emerging new type of high-power radiation guides-hollow photonic Bragg fibers. Continuous wave (CW) and pulsed radiation sources are considered, assuming continuous operation of the laser source.
Forces arising from overlap between the guided waves of parallel, microphotonic waveguides are calculated. Both attractive and repulsive forces, determined by the choice of relative input phase, are found. Using realistic parameters for a silicon-on-insulator material system, we estimate that the forces are large enough to cause observable displacements. Our results illustrate the potential for a broader class of optically tunable microphotonic devices and microstructured artificial materials.
We have calculated the optically-induced force between coupled high-Q whispering gallery modes of microsphere resonators. Attractive and repulsive forces are found, depending whether the bi-sphere mode is symmetric or antisymmetric. The magnitude of the force is linearly proportional to the total power in the spheres and consequently linearly enhanced by Q. Forces on the order of 100 nN are found for Q=108, large enough to cause displacements in the range of 1μm when the sphere is attached to a fiber stem with spring constant 0.004 N/m.
We propose the use of slow-light, band-edge waveguides for compact, integrated, tunable optical time delays. We show that slow group velocities at the photonic band edge give rise to large changes in time delay for small changes in refractive index, thereby shrinking device size. Figures of merit are introduced to quantify the sensitivity, as well as the accompanying signal degradation due to dispersion. It is shown that exact calculations of the figures of merit for a realistic, three-dimensional grating structure are well predicted by a simple quadratic-band model, simplifying device design. We present adiabatic taper designs that attain <0.1% reflection in short lengths of 10 to 20 times the grating period. We show further that cascading two gratings compensates for signal dispersion and gives rise to a constant tunable time delay across bandwidths greater than 100GHz. Given typical loss values for silicon-on-insulator waveguides, we estimate that gratings can be designed to exhibit tunable delays in the picosecond range using current fabrication technology.
We present predicted relative scattering losses from sidewall roughness in a strip waveguide compared to an identical waveguide surrounded by a photonic crystal with a complete or incomplete gap in both 2d and 3d. To do so, we develop a new semi-analytical extension of the classic “volume-current method” (Green's functions with a Born approximation), correcting a longstanding limitation of such methods to low-index contrast systems (the classic method may be off by an order of magnitude in high-contrast systems). The resulting loss predictions show that even incomplete gap structures such as photonic-crystal slabs should, with proper design, be able to reduce losses by a factor of two compared to an identical strip waveguide; however, incautious design can lead to increased losses in the photonic-crystal system, a phenomena that we explain in terms of the band structure of the unperturbed crystal.
We propose and demonstrate a mechanism for small-modal-volume high-Q cavities based on an anomalous uniform waveguide mode that has zero group velocity at a nonzero wave vector. In a short piece of a uniform waveguide with a specially designed cross section, light is confined longitudinally by small group-velocity propagation and transversely by a reflective cladding. The quality factor Q is greatly enhanced by the small group velocity for a set of cavity lengths that are separated by approximately π/k_{0}, where k_{0} is the longitudinal wave vector for which the group velocity is zero.
FFTW is an implementation of the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) that adapts to the hardware in order to maximize performance. This paper shows that such an approach can yield an implementation that is competitive with handoptimized libraries, and describes the software structure that makes our current FFTW3 version flexible and adaptive. We further discuss a new algorithm for real-data DFTs of prime size, a new way of implementing DFTs by means of SIMDmachine-specific instructions, and how a special-purpose compiler can derive optimized implementations of the discrete cosine and sine transforms automatically from a DFT algorithm.
We describe the use of high-index-contrast, photonic-crystal wavegides for tunable time delays. The waveguide is designed such that the operating frequency is near a photonic band edge. In this slow light region, a small change in index yields a large change in group velocity, and consequently in time delay. Figures of merit for tunable time delay devices are introduced, including sensitivity, length, and dispersion. We show that a simple quadratic band model is a good predictor of the figures of merit for realistic, 3D, high-index-contrast structures. By cascading two grated waveguides, we can obtain a flat tunable time delay across the operating bandwidth.
Supercontinuum based sources and measurement techniques are developed, enabling optical ultra-broadband studies of nano-scale photonic crystal devices and integrated photonic circuits over 1.2–2.0 μm wavelength range. Experiments involving 1-D periodic photonic crystal microcavity waveguides and 3-D periodic photonic crystals with embedded point defects are described. Experimental findings are compared with rigorous electromagnetic simulations.
The use of ultra-broadband supercontinuum generated by an all-fiber system to characterize high-index contrast photonic circuits over the wavelength range 1.2–2.0 μm is demonstrated. Efficient, broadband waveguide coupling techniques and sensitive normalized detection enable rapid and high-resolution measurements of nano-scale one-dimensional photonic crystal microcavities. Experimental mappings of bandgaps and cavity mode resonances with a wavelength resolution of 0.1 nm compare well with computer simulations.
In this work we present an introduction to photonic crystals by discussing the basic concepts and principles behind these artificial materials, as well as their abilities to control light and enable unusual optical phenomena. We will focus on specific examples including (1) negative refraction of light, (2) the superprism effect (anomalous electromagnetic dispersion), and (3) the possibility of superlensing (subwavelength focusing). These are very general results based on direct solutions of Maxwell's equations, and can consequently be of relevance to many areas of science and technology.
Standard perturbation theory (PT) and coupled mode theory (CMT) formulations fail or exhibit very slow convergence when applied to the analysis of geometrical variations in high index-contrast optical components such as Bragg fibers and photonic crystals waveguides. By formulating Maxwell's equations in perturbation matched curvilinear coordinates, we have derived several rigorous PT and CMT expansions that are applicable in the case of generic non-uniform dielectric profile perturbations in high index-contrast waveguides. In strong fiber tapers and fiber Bragg gratings we demonstrate that our formulation is accurate and rapidly converges to an exact result when used in a CMT framework even in the high index-contrast regime. We then apply our method to investigate the impact of hollow Bragg fiber ellipticity on its Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD) characteristics for telecom applications. Correct PT expansions allowed us to design an efficient optimization code which we successfully applied to the design of dispersion compensating hollow Bragg fiber with optimized low PMD and very large dispersion parameter. We have also successfully extended this methodology to treat radiation scattering due to common geometric variations in generic photonic crystals. As an example, scattering analysis in strong 2D photonic crystal tapers is demonstrated.
The majority of photonic crystals developed till-date are not dynamically tunable, especially in silicon-based structures. Dynamic tunability is required not only for reconfiguration of the optical characteristics based on user-demand, but also for compensation against external disturbances and relaxation of tight device fabrication tolerances. Recent developments in photonic crystals have suggested interesting possibilities for static small-strain modulations to affect the optical characteristics1-3, including a proposal for dynamic strain-tunability4. Here we report the theoretical analysis, device fabrication, and experimental measurements of tunable silicon photonic band gap microcavities in optical waveguides, through direct application of dynamic strain to the periodic structures5. The device concept consists of embedding the microcavity waveguide6 on a deformable SiO2 membrane. The membrane is strained through integrated thin-film piezoelectric microactuators. We show a 1.54 nm shift in cavity resonances at 1.56 μm wavelengths for an applied piezoelectric strain of 0.04%. This is in excellent agreement with our modeling, predicted through first-order semi-analytical perturbation theory7 and finite-difference time-domain calculations. The measured microcavity transmission shows resonances between 1.55 to 1.57 μm, with Q factors ranging from 159 to 280. For operation at infrared wavelengths, we integrate X-ray and electron-beam lithography (for critical 100 nm feature sizes) with thin-film piezoelectric surface micromachining. This level of integration permits realizable silicon-based photonic chip devices, such as high-density optical filters and spontaneous-emission enhancement devices with tunable configurations.
Group velocity, v_{g}, dependence of propagation loss in single-line-defect photonic crystal waveguides on GaAs membranes, and minimum loss as low as 2.5 dB/mm, are presented. When v_{g} is reduced by a factor of 7, an additional loss is found to be only 5 dB/mm, thus proving a feasible usage of low v_{g}.
We show that modes of axially uniform waveguides of arbitrary cross section can be made to have anomalous dispersion relations resulting from strong repulsion between two modes. When the axial wave vector k is 0, the two modes have different TE/TM symmetry and thus can be brought arbitrarily close to an accidental frequency degeneracy. For nonzero k, the symmetry is broken causing the modes to repel. When the modes are sufficiently close together this repulsion leads to unusual features such as extremely flattened dispersion relations, backward waves, zero group velocity for nonzero k, atypical divergence of the density of states, and nonzero group velocity at k = 0.
We present detailed theoretical and numerical analysis of certain novel non-linear optical phenomena enabled by photonic bandgap fibers. In particular, we demonstrate the feasibility of optical bistability in an axially modulated nonlinear photonic bandgap fiber through analytical theory and detailed numerical experiments. At 1.55μm carrier wavelength, the in-fiber devices we propose can operate with only a few tens of mW of power, have a nearly instantaneous response and recovery time, and be shorter than 100μm. Furthermore, we predict existence of gap-like solitons (which have thus-far been described only in axially periodic systems) in axially uniform photonic bandgap fibers.
Photonic-crystal structures consisting of dielectric rods were designed, fabricated, and optically characterized. The combination of the high refractive-index-contrast GaAs/Al_{x}O_{y} material system with electron-beam lithography enabled the fabrication of structures suitable for the optical propagation of 1.5 μm light. Experimental transmission spectra were obtained for structures consisting of a two-dimensional array of rods and line-defect waveguides. Optical measurements confirmed the presence of a photonic band gap, as well as band gap guidance in the line-defect waveguide. A two-stage coupling scheme facilitated efficient optical coupling into the line-defect waveguide.
We report the design, device fabrication, and measurements of tunable silicon photonic band gap microcavities in optical waveguides, using direct application of piezoelectric-induced strain to the photonic crystal. We show, through first-order perturbation computations and experimental measurements, a 1.54 nm shift in cavity resonances at 1.56 μm wavelengths for an applied strain of 0.04%. The strain is applied through integrated piezoelectric microactuators. For operation at infrared wavelengths, we combine x-ray and electron-beam lithography with thin-film piezoelectric processing. This level of integration permits realizable silicon-based photonic chip devices, such as high-density optical filters, with active reconfiguration.
Photonic crystals offer unprecedented opportunities for miniaturization and integration of optical devices. They also exhibit a variety of new physical phenomena, including suppression or enhancement of spontaneous emission, low-threshold lasing, and quantum information processing. Various techniques for the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) crystals photonicsuch as silicon micromachining, wafer fusion bonding, holographic lithography, self-assembly, angled-etching, micromanipulation, glancing-angle deposition, auto-cloning, have been proposed and demonstrated with different levels of success. However, a critical step towards the fabrication of functional 3D devices, that is, the incorporation of microcavities or waveguides in a controllable way, has not been achieved at optical wavelengths. Here we present the fabrication of 3D photonic crystals that are particularly suited for optical device integration using a lithographic layer-by-layer approach. Point-defect microcavities are introduced during the fabrication process and optical measurements show they have resonant signatures around telecommunications wavelengths (1.3–1.5μm). Measurements of reflectance and transmittance at near-infrared are in good agreement with numerical simulations.
We derive a general, analytical, coupled-mode theory for disorder-induced scattering in periodic systems that shows that in the experimentally relevant limit of weak disorder, the reflection in a photonic-crystal waveguide is just as low as in a comparable index-guided waveguide. Moreover, since the photonic band gap also blocks radiative loss, the total scattering loss is reduced, and the total transmission is higher. These general results are verified by direct numerical simulations in an example system.
We study the radiation pressure on the surface of a waveguide formed by omnidirectionally reflecting mirrors. In the absence of losses, the pressure goes to infinity as the distance between the mirrors is reduced to the cutoff separation of the waveguide mode. This divergence at constant power input is due to the reduction of the modal group velocity to zero, which results in the magnification of the electromagnetic field. Our structure suggests a promising alternative, microscale system for observing the variety of classical and quantum-optical effects associated with radiation pressure in Fabry–Perot cavities.
A mechanism to reduce radiation loss from integrated optical cavities without a complete photonic bandgap is introduced and demonstrated. It is applicable to any device with a patterned substrate (including both low and high index-contrast systems), when it supports discrete guided or leaky modes through which power escaping the cavity can be channeled into radiation. One then achieves the associated increase in Q by designing the cavity such that the near-field pattern becomes orthogonal to these discrete modes, therefore canceling the coupling of power into them and thus reducing the total radiation loss. The method is independent of any delocalization mechanism and can be used to create high-Q cavities with small modal volume.
Although brute-force simulations of Maxwell's equations, such as FDTD methods, have enjoyed wide success in modeling photonic-crystal systems, they are not ideally suited for the study of weak perturbations, such as surface roughness or gradual waveguide transitions, where a high resolution and/or large computational cells are required. Instead, we suggest that these important problems are ideally suited for semi-analytical methods, which employ perturbative corrections (typically only needing the lowest order) to the exactly understood perfect waveguide. However, semi-analytical methods developed for the study of conventional waveguides require modification for high index-contrast, strongly periodic photonic crystals, and we have developed corrected forms of coupled-wave theory, perturbation theory, and the volume-current method for this situation. In this paper, we survey these new developments and describe the most significant results for adiabatic waveguide transitions and disorder losses. We present design rules and scaling laws for adiabatic transitions. In the case of disorder, we show both analytically and numerically that photonic crystals can suppress radiation loss without any corresponding increase in reflection, compared to a conventional strip waveguide with the same modal area, group velocity, and disorder strength.
We present an adiabatic taper design in three dimensions for coupling light into photonic crystal defect waveguides in a square lattice of circular dielectric rods. The taper is a two-stage structure in which the first stage makes the transition from a dielectric waveguide to a coupled-cavity waveguide. The second stage subsequently transforms the waveguide mode from an index-guided mode to a band-gap-guided mode. We discuss differences between the two-dimensional device and its three-dimensional slab version.
In this work, we explore the possibility of designing photonic crystals to act as magnetic metamaterials: structures that exhibit magnetic properties despite the nonmagnetic character of their constituents. The building blocks of a magnetic material are microscopic magnetic dipoles, and to create a synthetic analog we employ point-defect modes in a photonic crystal. We begin by identifying a point defect mode in a three-dimensional crystal whose local field pattern resembles an oscillating magnetic moment. By analyzing the far-field pattern of the field radiated from the defect, we prove quantitatively that such modes can be designed with a primarily magnetic character: over 98% of the emitted power goes into magnetic multipole radiation. Unlike the constituents of natural para- and ferromagnetic materials, these synthetic magnetic emitters can be designed to operate without losses even at optical frequencies.
Perturbation theory formulation of Maxwell's equations gives a theoretically elegant and computationally efficient way of describing small imperfections and weak interactions in electromagnetic systems. It is generally appreciated that due to the discontinuous field boundary conditions in the systems employing high dielectric contrast profiles standard perturbation formulations fails when applied to the problem of shifted material boundaries. In this paper we developed coupled mode and perturbation theory formulations for treating generic perturbations of a waveguide cross section based on Hamiltonian formulation of Maxwell equations in curvilinear coordinates. We show that our formulation is accurate beyond the first order and rapidly converges to an exact result when used in a coupled mode theory framework even for the high-index-contrast discontinuous dielectric profiles. Among others, our formulation allows for an efficient numerical evaluation of such quantities as deterministic PMD and change in the GV and GVD of a mode due to generic profile distortion in a waveguide of arbitrary cross section. To our knowledge, this is the first time perturbation and coupled mode theories are developed to deal with arbitrary profile variations in high-index-contrast waveguides.
We demonstrate optical bistability in a class of non-linear photonic crystal devices, through the use of detailed numerical experiments, and analytical theory. Our devices are shorter than the wavelength of light in length, they can operate with only a few mW of power, and can be faster than 1ps.
The ability of photonic crystals to mold the flow of light in new ways can lead to a variety of novel and improved designs of optical nanocomponents and nanodevices in photonics. Two examples will be presented: a) Using linear materials, a polarization independent waveguide is designed in a 3D photonic crystal. It is demonstrated that this system provides lossless guiding of light at length-scales approaching the wavelength of the light itself, offering a promising platform for the design of integrated high performance polarization-insensitive waveguide networks. b) Using nonlinear materials, a cylindrical photonic crystal fiber is designed that can exhibit all-optical switching without the need for an axial periodicity. It is shown that this property stems from the unique structure of the cylindrical photonic crystal guidedmode dispersion relation, and can lead to significant improvements in manufacturing ease, operating power usage, and device size requirements, making such a system ideal for integrated all-optical signal processing.
A new class of materials, called photonic crystals, affect a photon's properties in much the same way that a semiconductor affects an electron's properties. This represents an ability to mold and guide light that leads naturally to novel applications in several fields, including optoelectronics and telecommunications. We present an introductory survey of the basic concepts and ideas that underlie photonic crystals, and present results and devices that illustrate their potential to circumvent limits of traditional optical systems.
A design is presented for a nanoelectromechanical optical switch based on the horizontal deflection of an input waveguide to align with one of two output waveguides. The use of high-index (GaAs) strip waveguides surrounded by air, designed to be single-mode at 1.55 μm, significantly decreases device dimensions as compared to previous designs. Design tradeoffs between optical and mechanical properties of the device are discussed. By means of three-dimensional numerical simulations, optical transmission is optimized for two different design strategies: butt and parallel coupling. High polarization-independent transmission (over 90%) is predicted for realistic design parameters.
We investigate the transmission of evanescent waves through a slab of photonic crystal and explore the recently suggested possibility of focusing light with subwavelength resolution. The amplification of near-field waves is shown to rely on resonant coupling mechanisms to surface photon bound states, and the negative refractive index is only one way of realizing this effect. It is found that the periodicity of the photonic crystal imposes an upper cutoff to the transverse wave vector of evanescent waves that can be amplified, and thus a photonic-crystal superlens is free of divergences even in the lossless case. A detailed numerical study of the optical image of such a superlens in two dimensions reveals a subtle and very important interplay between propagating waves and evanescent waves on the final image formation. Particular features that arise due to the presence of near-field light are discussed.
Using a symmetry-based approach, we have designed polarization-independent waveguides in a 3D photonic crystal. A comprehensive series of numerical experiments, involving the propagation of pulsed signals through long straight waveguide sections and sharp bends, quantitatively evaluates the bend-transmission coefficient over the entire bandwidth of the corresponding guided modes. High (∼95%) polarization-independent bend transmission is achieved within a certain frequency range.
In this paper, we analyze the electromagnetic mode structure of an OmniGuide fiber—hollow dielectric waveguide in which light is confined by a large index-contrast omnidirectional dielectric mirror. In particular, we find that the modes in an OmniGuide fiber are similar to those in a hollow metallic waveguide in their symmetries, cutoff frequencies, and dispersion relations. We show that the differences can be predicted by a model based on a single parameter—the phase shift upon reflection from the dielectric mirror. The analogy to the metal waveguide extends to the transmission properties, resulting in the identification of the TE_{01} mode as the lowest-loss mode of the OmniGuide fiber.
We present a rigorous analysis methodology of fundamental to higher order mode converters in step index few mode optical fibers. We demonstrate experimental conversion from a fundamental LP_{01} mode to the higher order LP_{11} mode utilizing a multiple mechanical bend mode converter. We perform a quantitative analysis of the measured light intensity, and demonstrate a modal decomposition algorithm to characterize the modal content excited in the fiber. Theoretical modelling of the current mode converter is then performed and compared with experimental findings.
We present a method for dispersion-tailoring of OmniGuide and other photonic band-gap guided fibers based on weak interactions (“anticrossings”) between the core-guided mode and a mode localized in an intentionally introduced defect of the crystal. Because the core mode can be guided in air and the defect mode in a much higher-index material, we are able to obtain dispersion parameters in excess of 500,000 ps/nm-km. Furthermore, because the dispersion is controlled entirely by geometric parameters and not by material dispersion, it is easily tunable by structural choices and fiber-drawing speed. So, for example, we demonstrate how the large dispersion can be made to coincide with a dispersion slope that matches commercial silica fibers to better than 1%, promising efficient compensation. Other parameters are shown to yield dispersion-free transmission in a hollow OmniGuide fiber that also maintains low losses and negligible nonlinearities, with a nondegenerate TE_{01} mode immune to polarization-mode dispersion (PMD). We present theoretical calculations for a chalcogenide-based material system that has recently been experimentally drawn.
It is shown that certain metallic photonic crystals can enable negative refraction and subwavelength imaging without relying on a negative effective index. These metallic structures are very simple in design and appear straightforward for fabrication. Their unusual electromagnetic response should provide an interesting comparison with the metallic left-handed materials.
We demonstrate the feasibility of optical bistability in an axially modulated nonlinear OmniGuide fiber through analytical theory and detailed numerical experiments. At 1.55-μm carrier wavelength, the in-fiber devices that we propose can operate with only a few tens of milliwatts of power, can have a nearly instantaneous response and recovery time, and can be shorter than 100 μm.
In a conventional material, the coherent Cerenkov radiation due to a moving charged particle is associated with a velocity threshold, a forward-pointing radiation cone, and a forward direction of emission. We describe different behavior for the Cerenkov radiation in a photonic crystal. In particular, this radiation is intrinsically coupled with transition radiation and is observable without any threshold. Within one particle-velocity range, we found a radiation pattern with a backward-pointing radiation cone. In another velocity range, backward-propagating Cerenkov radiation can be expected. Potential applications include velocity-sensitive particle detection and radiation generation at selectable frequencies.
We show how an electromagnetic cavity with arbitrarily high Q and small (bounded) modal volume can be formed in two or three dimensions with a proper choice of dielectric constants. Unlike in previous work, neither a complete photonic bandgap nor a trade-off in mode localization for Q is required. Rather, scattering and radiation are prohibited by a perfect mode match of the TE-polarized modes in each subsection of a Bragg resonator. Qy values in excess of 10^{5} are demonstrated through finite-difference time-domain simulations of two- and three-dimensional structures with modal areas or volumes of the order of the wavelength squared or cubed.
Photonic Crystals: The Road from Theory to Practice explores the theoretical road leading to the practical application of photonic band gaps. These new optimal devices are based on symmetry and resonance and the benefits and limitations of hybrid “two dimensional” slab systems in three dimensions. The book also explains that they also signify a return to the ideal of an omnidirectional band gap in a structure inspired by and emulating the simplicity of two dimensions. Finally, the book takes a look at computational methods to solve the mathematical problems that underlie all undertakings in this field. Photonic Crystals: The Road from Theory to Practice should rapidly bring the optical professional and engineer up to speed on this intersection of electromagnetism and solid-state physics. It will also provide an excellent addition to any graduate course in optics.
A new micro-cavity design is proposed and structures are realized using a 2D photonic-crystal slab. The cavity consists of seven defect holes that encompass a hexagon and is designed to reduce vertical light leakage. From a direct transmission measurement, a Q-value of 816 ±30 is achieved at λ=1.55μm. This high-Q cavity will enable realistic realization of spontaneous emission modification and on-off optical switches.
We demonstrate how dramatic increases in the induced phase shifts caused by small changes in the index of refraction can be achieved by using very slow group velocities of light, which are readily achievable in photonic crystal systems. Combined with the fact that small group velocity greatly decreases the power requirements needed to operate a device, enhanced phase sensitivity may be used to decrease the size and power requirements of many devices, including switches, routers, all-optical logical gates, wavelength converters, etc. We demonstrate how these advantages can be used to design switches smaller than 20*200 square microns in size, using readily available materials, and at modest levels of power. With this approach, one could have ∼10^{5} such devices on a surface 2*2 square cm, making it an important step towards large-scale all-optical integration.
We argue that OmniGuide fibers, which guide light within a hollow core by concentric multilayer films having the property of omnidirectional reflection, have the potential to lift several physical limitations of silica fibers. We show how the strong confinement in OmniGuide fibers greatly suppresses the properties of the cladding materials: even if highly lossy and nonlinear materials are employed, both the intrinsic losses and nonlinearities of silica fibers can be surpassed by orders of magnitude. This feat, impossible to duplicate in an index-guided fiber with existing materials, would open up new regimes for long-distance propagation and dense wavelengthdivision multiplexing (DWDM). The OmniGuide-fiber modes bear a strong analogy to those of hollow metallic waveguides; from this analogy, we are able to derive several general scaling laws with core radius. Moreover, there is strong loss discrimination between guided modes, depending upon their degree of confinement in the hollow core: this allows large, ostensibly multi-mode cores to be used, with the lowest-loss TE_{01} mode propagating in an effectively single-mode fashion. Finally, because this TE_{01} mode is a cylindrically symmetrical (“azimuthally” polarized) singlet state, it is immune to polarization-mode dispersion (PMD), unlike the doubly-degenerate linearly-polarized modes in silica fibers that are vulnerable to birefringence.
We develop a novel perturbation theory formulation to evaluate polarization-mode dispersion (PMD) for a general class of scaling perturbations of a waveguide profile based on generalized Hermitian Hamiltonian formulation of Maxwell's equations. Such perturbations include elipticity and uniform scaling of a fiber cross section, as well as changes in the horizontal or vertical sizes of a planar waveguide. Our theory is valid even for discontinuous high-index contrast variations of the refractive index across a waveguide cross section. We establish that, if at some frequencies a particular mode behaves like pure TE or TM polarized mode (polarization is judged by the relative amounts of the electric and magnetic longitudinal energies in the waveguide cross section), then at such frequencies for fibers under elliptical deformation its PMD as defined by an intermode dispersion parameter τ becomes proportional to group-velocity dispersion D such that τ= λδ|D|, where δ is a measure of the fiber elipticity and λ is a wavelength of operation. As an example, we investigate a relation between PMD and group-velocity dispersion of a multiple-core step-index fiber as a function of the coreclad index contrast. We establish that in this case the positions of the maximum PMD and maximum absolute value of group-velocity dispersion are strongly correlated, with the ratio of PMD to group-velocity dispersion being proportional to the coreclad dielectric contrast.
We demonstrate how slow group velocities of light, which are readily achievable in photonic-crystal systems, can dramatically increase the induced phase shifts caused by small changes in the index of refraction. Such increased phase sensitivity may be used to decrease the sizes of many devices, including switches, routers, all-optical logical gates, wavelength converters, and others. At the same time a low group velocity greatly decreases the power requirements needed to operate these devices. We show how these advantages can be used to design switches smaller than 20μm ×200μm in size by using readily available materials and at modest levels of power. With this approach, one could have ∼10^{5} such devices on a surface that is 2 cm ×2 cm, making it an important step towards large-scale all-optical integration.
Perturbation theory formulation of Maxwell's equations gives a theoretically elegant and computationally efficient way of describing small imperfections and weak interactions in electro-magnetic systems. It is generally appreciated that due to the discontinuous field boundary conditions in the systems employing high dielectric contrast profiles standard perturbation formulations fail when applied to the problem of shifted material boundaries. In this paper we developed a novel coupled mode and perturbation theory formulations for treating generic non-uniform (varying along the direction of propagation) perturbations of a waveguide cross-section based on Hamiltonian formulation of Maxwell equations in curvilinear coordinates. We show that our formulation is accurate and rapidly converges to an exact result when used in a coupled mode theory framework even for the high index-contrast discontinuous dielectric profiles. Among others, our formulation allows for an efficient numerical evaluation of induced PMD due to a generic distortion of a waveguide profile, analysis of mode filters, mode converters and other optical elements such as strong Bragg gratings, tapers, bends etc., and arbitrary combinations of thereof. To our knowledge, this is the first time perturbation and coupled mode theories are developed to deal with arbitrary non-uniform profile variations in high index-contrast waveguides.
We introduce a photonic crystal that has a large range of effective negative refractive index in three dimensions (3D) and demonstrate its negative-refraction property by numerical simulations. With slight modifications, our design is also amenable to layer-by-layer fabrication. This work should enable experimental observation of negative refraction and related phenomena in 3D at optical frequencies.
We prove that an adiabatic theorem generally holds for slow tapers in photonic crystals and other strongly grated waveguides with arbitrary index modulation, exactly as in conventional waveguides. This provides a guaranteed pathway to efficient and broad-bandwidth couplers with, e.g., uniform waveguides. We show that adiabatic transmission can only occur, however, if the operating mode is propagating (nonevanescent) and guided at every point in the taper. Moreover, we demonstrate how straightforward taper designs in photonic crystals can violate these conditions, but that adiabaticity is restored by simple design principles involving only the independent band structures of the intermediate gratings. For these and other analyses, we develop a generalization of the standard coupled-mode theory to handle arbitrary nonuniform gratings via an instantaneous Bloch-mode basis, yielding a continuous set of differential equations for the basis coefficients. We show how one can thereby compute semianalytical reflection and transmission through crystal tapers of almost any length, using only a single pair of modes in the unit cells of uniform gratings. Unlike other numerical methods, our technique becomes more accurate as the taper becomes more gradual, with no significant increase in the computation time or memory. We also include numerical examples comparing to a well-established scattering-matrix method in two dimensions.
We present an analytical model and numerical experiments to describe optimal bistable switching in a nonlinear photonic crystal system. It is proved that only three parameters are needed to characterize a bistable switch: the resonant frequency ω_{}res, the quality factor Q, and parameter κ that measures nonlinear “feedback strength.” A photonic crystal enables the device to operate in single-mode fashion, as if it were effectively one dimensional. This provides optimal control over the input and output and facilitates further large-scale optical integration.
Perturbation theory permits the analytic study of small changes on known solutions, and is especially useful in electromagnetism for understanding weak interactions and imperfections. Standard perturbation-theory techniques, however, have difficulties when applied to Maxwell's equations for small shifts in dielectric interfaces (especially in high-index-contrast, three-dimensional systems) due to the discontinous field boundary conditions—in fact, the usual methods fail even to predict the lowest-order behavior. By considering a sharp boundary as a limit of anisotropically smoothed systems, we are able to derive a correct first-order perturbation theory and mode-coupling constants, involving only surface integrals of the unperturbed fields over the perturbed interface. In addition, we discuss further considerations that arise for higher-order perturbative methods in electromagnetism.
We describe an all-angle negative refraction effect that does not employ a negative effective index of refraction and involves photonic crystals. A few simple criteria sufficient to achieve this behavior are presented. To illustrate this phenomenon, a microsuperlens is designed and numerically demonstrated.
We report a successful experimental realization of a photonic-crystal Ysplitter operating at λ∼1.6μm. Our device has a large splitting angle of 120^{o} and a miniature size of ∼3μm×3μm. Furthermore, the Y-splitter loss is measured to be 0.5–1dB at λ = 1640–1680 nm , making the Ysplitter promising for integrated photonic- circuit applications. These unique properties are attributed to the new guiding principle made possible by the photonic bandgap.
Using a two-dimensional (2D) photonic-crystal slab structure, we have demonstrated a strong 2D photonic band gap with the capability of fully controlling light in all three dimensions. Our demonstration confirms the predictions on the possibility of achieving 3D light control using 2D band gaps, with strong index guiding providing control in the third dimension, and raise the prospect of being able to realize novel photonic-crystal devices. Based on such slab structure with triangular lattice of holes, a 60-degree photonic-crystal waveguide bend is fabricated. The intrinsic bending efficiency (η) is measured within the photonic band gap. As high as 90% bending efficency is observed at some frequencies.
We describe a new photonic-crystal structure with a complete three-dimensional photonic band gap (PBG) and its potential application to integrated optics. The structure not only has a large band gap and is amenable to layer-by-layer litho-fabrication, but also introduces the feature of high-symmetry planar layers resembling two-dimensional photonic crystals. This feature enables integrated optical devices to be constructed by modification of only a single layer, and supports waveguide and resonant-cavity modes that strongly resemble the corresponding modes in the simpler and well-understood 2d systems. In contrast to previous attempts to realize 2d crystals in 3d via finite-height “slabs,” however, the complete PBG of the new system eliminates the possibility of radiation losses. Thus, it provides a robust infrastructure within which to embed complex optical networks, combining elements such as compact filters, channel-drops, and waveguide bends/junctions that have previously been proposed in 2d photonic crystals.
Using numerical simulations, we demonstrate the construction of two-dimensional- (2D-) like defect modes in a recently proposed 3D photonic crystal structure. These modes, which are confined in all three dimensions by a complete photonic band gap, bear a striking similarity to those in 2D photonic crystals in terms of polarization, field profile, and projected band structures. It is expected that these results will greatly facilitate the observation of widely studied 2D photonic-crystal phenomena in a realistic, 3D physical system.
Theoretical and numerical analyses of waveguide branches in a photonic crystal are presented. Conditions for perfect transmission and zero reflection are discussed. Based upon these conditions, numerical simulations of electromagnetic-wave propagation in photonic crystals are performed to identify structures with near-complete transmission.
A new class of materials, called photonic crystals, affects a photon's properties in much the same way that a semiconductor affects an electron's properties. The ability to mold and guide light leads naturally to novel applications in several fields, including optoelectronics and telecommunications. The authors present an introductory survey of the basic concepts and ideas, including results for never before possible photon phenomena.
We describe and demonstrate a new mechanism for low radiation losses in structures lacking a complete band gap, and show how resonant cavities with Q>10^{3} can be achieved without sacrificing strong localization in 3d. This involves a forced cancellation in the lowest-order term(s) of the multipole far-field radiation expansion. We focus on the system of photonic-crystal slabs, one- to two-dimensionally periodic dielectric structures of finite height with vertical index guiding. Simulations and analytical results in 2d and 3d are presented.
A new microcavity design is proposed and structures are realized with a two-dimensional photonic-crystal slab. The cavity consists of seven defect holes that encompass a hexagon and is designed to reduce vertical light leakage. From a direct transmission measurement, a Q value of 816 ±30 is achieved at λ= 1.55μm. This high-Q cavity will permit the realistic realization of spontaneous-emission modification and on–off optical switches.
Based on a photonic-crystal slab structure, a 60 photonic-crystal waveguide bend is successfully fabricated. Its bending efficiency within the photonic bandgap is measured, and near 100% efficiency is observed at certain frequencies near the valence band edge. The bending radius is ∼1μm at a wavelength of λ∼1.55μm. The measured η spectrum also agrees well with a finite-difference time-domain simulation.
We present the light-propagation characteristics of OmniGuide fibers, which guide light by concentric multi-layer dielectric mirrors having the property of omnidirectional reflection. We show how the lowest-loss TE_{01} mode can propagate in a single-mode fashion through even large-core fibers, with other modes eliminated asymptotically by their higher losses and poor coupling, analogous to hollow metallic microwave waveguides. Dispersion, radiation leakage, material absorption, nonlinearities, bending, acircularity, and interface roughness are considered with the help of leaky modes and perturbation theory, and both numerical results and general scaling relations are presented. We show that cladding properties such as absorption and nonlinearity are suppressed by many orders of magnitude due to the strong confinement in a hollow core, and other imperfections are tolerable, promising that the properties of silica fibers may be surpassed even when nominally poor materials are employed.
We describe a fully-vectorial, three-dimensional algorithm to compute the definite-frequency eigenstates of Maxwell's equations in arbitrary periodic dielectric structures, including systems with anisotropy (birefringence) or magnetic materials, using preconditioned block-iterative eigensolvers in a planewave basis. Favorable scaling with the system size and the number of computed bands is exhibited. We propose a new effective dielectric tensor for anisotropic structures, and demonstrate that O(Δx^{2}) convergence can be achieved even in systems with sharp material discontinuities. We show how it is possible to solve for interior eigenvalues, such as localized defect modes, without computing the many underlying eigenstates. Preconditioned conjugate-gradient Rayleigh-quotient minimization is compared with the Davidson method for eigensolution, and a number of iteration variants and preconditioners are characterized. Our implementation is freely available on the Web.
A three-dimensionally periodic dielectric structure with a large complete photonic band gap (PBG) is presented. The structure is distinguished by a sequence of planar layers, identical except for a horizontal offset, and repeating every three layers to form an fcc lattice. The layers can be thought of as an alternating stack of the two basic two-dimensional (2D) PBG slab geometries: rods in air and air cylinders in dielectric. These high-symmetry planar cross-sections should simplify the integration of optical devices and components by allowing modification of only a single layer, using simple defects of the same form as in the corresponding 2D systems. A process for fabricating the structure with conventional planar microfabrication technology is described. Gaps of over 21% are obtained for Si/air substrates. Reasonable gaps, over 8%, can be achieved even for the moderate index ratio of 2.45 (Si/SiO_{2}).
Optoelectronic devices are increasingly important in communication and information technology. To achieve the necessary manipulation of light (which carries information in optoelectronic devices), considerable efforts are directed at the development of crystals photonicperiodic dielectric materials that have so-called photonic bandgaps, which prohibit the propagation of photons having energies within the bandgap region. Straightforward application of the bandgap concept is generally thought to require three-dimensional (3D) photonic crystals; their two-dimensional (2D) counterparts confine light in the crystal plane, but not in the perpendicular z direction, which inevitably leads to diffraction losses. Nonetheless, 2D photonic crystals still attract interest because they are potentially more amenable to fabrication by existing techniques and diffraction losses need not seriously impair utility. Here we report the fabrication of a waveguide-coupled photonic crystal slab (essentially a free-standing 2D photonic crystal) with a strong 2D bandgap at wavelengths of about 1.5 μm, yet which is capable of fully controlling light in all three dimensions. These features confirm theoretical calculations on the possibility of achieving 3D light control using 2D bandgaps, with index guiding providing control in the third dimension, and raise the prospect of being able to realize unusual photonic-crystal devices, such as thresholdless lasers.
Linear waveguides in photonic-crystal slabs, two-dimensionally periodic dielectric structures of finite height, are fundamentally different from waveguides in two-dimensional photonic crystals. The most important distinctions arise from the fact that photonic-crystal slab waveguides must be index-confined in the vertical direction (while a band gap confines them horizontally). We present a systematic analysis of different families of waveguides in photonic-crystal slabs, and illustrate the considerations that must be applied to achieve single-mode guided bands in these systems. In this way, the unusual features of photonic-crystal waveguides can be realized in three dimensions without the fabrication complexity required by photonic crystals with complete three-dimensional band gaps.
Highly efficient transmission of 1.5-μm light in a two-dimensional (2D) photonic crystal slab waveguide is experimentally demonstrated. Light waves are shown to be guided along a triple-line defect formed within a 2D crystal and vertically by a strong index-guiding mechanism. At certain wavelength ranges, complete transmission is observed, suggesting lossless guiding along this photonic one-dimensional conduction channel.
We analyze the properties of two-dimensionally periodic dielectric structures that have a band gap for propagation in a plane and that use index guiding to confine light in the third dimension. Such structures are more amenable to fabrication than photonic crystals with full three-dimensional band gaps, but retain or approximate many of the latter's desirable properties. We show how traditional band-structure analysis can be adapted to slab systems in the context of several representative structures, and describe the unique features that arise in this framework compared to ordinary photonic crystals.
This paper presents two-dimensional (2-D) finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations of low-loss rightangle waveguide bends, T-junctions and crossings, based on high index-contrast waveguides. Such structures are essential for the dense integration of optical components. Excellent performance characteristics are obtained by designing the waveguide intersection regions as low-Q resonant cavities with certain symmetries and small radiation loss. A simple analysis, based on coupled mode theory in time, is used to explain the operation principles and agrees qualitatively with the numerical results.
We present general criteria for crossing perpendicular waveguides with nearly 100% throughput and 0% cross talk. Our design applies even when the waveguide width is of the order of the wavelength. The theoretical basis for this phenomenon is explained in terms of symmetry considerations and resonant tunneling and is then illustrated with numerical simulations for both a two-dimensional photonic crystal and a conventional high-index-contrast waveguide crossing. Cross-talk reduction by up to 8 orders of magnitude is achieved relative to unmodified crossings.
Photonic crystals of one- or two-dimensional periodicity can be used to achieve three-dimensional photon confinement in dielectric waveguides with modal volumes of the order of a cubic half-wavelength. Since photonic crystals of low-dimensional periodicity do not have full three-dimensional bandgaps, the microcavities undergo increasing radiation losses with decreasing modal volumes. High-Q resonant modes can be generated by reducing the strength of the photon confinement. Increasingly, larger modal volumes lead to lower radiation losses and more efficient coupling to waveguide modes outside the cavity.
FFT literature has been mostly concerned with minimizing the number of floating-point operations performed by an algorithm. Unfortunately, on present-day microprocessors this measure is far less important than it used to be, and interactions with the processor pipeline and the memory hierarchy have a larger impact on performance. Consequently, one must know the details of a computer architecture in order to design a fast algorithm. In this paper, we propose an adaptive FFT program that tunes the computation automatically for any particular hardware. We compared our program, called FFTW, with over 40 implementations of the FFT on 7 machines. Our tests show that FFTW's self-optimizing approach usually yields significantly better performance than all other publicly available software. FFTW also compares favorably with machine-specific, vendor-optimized libraries.
This paper describes FFTW, a portable C package for computing the one- and multidimensional complex discrete Fourier transform (DFT). FFTW is typically faster than all other publicly available DFT software, including the well-known FFTPACK and the code from Numerical Recipes. More interestingly, FFTW is competitive with or better than proprietary, highly-tuned codes such as Sun's Performance Library and IBM's ESSL library. FFTW implements the Cooley-Tukey fast Fourier transform, and is freely available on the Web at http://theory.lcs.mit/ fftw. Three main ideas are the keys to s performance. First, the computation of the transform is performed by an executor consisting of highly-optimized, composable blocks of C code called codelets. Second, at runtime, a planner finds an efficient way (called ) to compose the codelets. Through the planner, FFTW adapts itself to the architecture of the machine it is running on. Third, the codelets are automatically generated by a codelet generator written in the Caml Light dialect of ML. The codelet generator produces long, optimized, unreadable code, which is nevertheless easy to modify via simple changes to th generator.
The advent of large-scale, free-space, optoelecironic interconnections, as demonstrated in recent system prototypes, requires new sampling methods to reveal diagnostic information. Several factors contribute to the difficulty of probing optical communications channels without disrupting their operation. High-speed electronic connections to the chip periphery are not available in sufficient number and would contribute an undesirable thermal load. Electronic and optical physical contact probes would obscure many of the optical channels that are relayed to a common surface of the chip in current systems. Optical sampling provides the better method although many standard techniques are either too time consuming or complex to implement. We will describe a tool we developed that delivers diagnostic information on a large number of high-speed, optical data channels simultaneously and operates analogously to the conventional sampling electronic oscilloscope. The optical oscilloscope is constructed using CCD cameras and video capture boards that are controlled by a software application resident in a personal computer. Sampling is based on a stroboscopic method of using short pulsed laser probe beam synchronized to a data stream to illuminate optical modulators within the opto-elecironic circuit. We have demonstrated and will discuss the tool's capability of simultaneously monitoring arrays of broadband optoelectronic devices operating at speeds from several hundred Megabit/s to a few Gigabit/s.
Free-space digital optical systems have demonstrated the capability to provide thousands of optical connections between optoelectronic chips. This dense concentration of channels creates substantial challenges in monitoring individual connections for diagnostic purposes without compromising performance. From the concept of stroboscopic techniques, we have designed and constructed a multichannel optical diagnostic tool that operates analogously to an electronic-sampling oscilloscope. The tool is economically constructed by the use of commercially available video cameras and video-enhanced personal computers. An integrated software application operates the tool and displays multiplechannel waveforms. We demonstrate the oscilloscope-sampling optical waveforms of a twodimensional optoelectronic modulator array operating at data rates from 0.5 to 4 Gbits/s.
A computer program to simulate the Fermilab Tevatron liquid helium satellite refrigeration system has been developed. The simulator program takes advantage of the Macintosh platform upon which it was developed to produce a unique, easy to use Macintosh interface to facilitate ease of cycle design and modification. The user can drag icons representing refrigerator components around on the screen and piece them together to form a variety of liquid helium refrigeration cycle configurations. Extensive use of the icons, windows, and pull-down menus of the Macintosh interface allows the user to easily alter refrigeration component configurations and parameters. Calculation accuracy is retained by using existing helium property subroutines and component models. The user interface, program output, and code details are described. Sample configurations and results are presented.
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