Optical time reversal from time-dependent epsilon-near-zero media

Vezzoli, S., Bruno, V., DeVault, C., Roger, T., Shalaev, V. M., Boltasseva, A., Ferrera, M., Clerici, M. , Dubietis, A. and Faccio, D. (2018) Optical time reversal from time-dependent epsilon-near-zero media. Physical Review Letters, 120, 043902. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.043902) (PMID:29437435)

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Abstract

Materials with a spatially uniform but temporally varying optical response have applications ranging from magnetic field-free optical isolators to fundamental studies of quantum field theories. However, these effects typically become relevant only for time variations oscillating at optical frequencies, thus presenting a significant hurdle that severely limits the realization of such conditions. Here we present a thin-film material with a permittivity that pulsates (uniformly in space) at optical frequencies and realizes a time-reversing medium of the form originally proposed by Pendry [Science 322, 71 (2008)]. We use an optically pumped, 500 nm thick film of epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) material based on Al-doped zinc oxide. An incident probe beam is both negatively refracted and time reversed through a reflected phase-conjugated beam. As a result of the high nonlinearity and the refractive index that is close to zero, the ENZ film leads to time reversed beams (simultaneous negative refraction and phase conjugation) with near-unit efficiency and greater-than-unit internal conversion efficiency. The ENZ platform therefore presents the time-reversal features required, e.g., for efficient subwavelength imaging, all-optical isolators and fundamental quantum field theory studies.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:bruno, vincenzo and Faccio, Professor Daniele and Clerici, Dr Matteo and Vezzoli, Dr Stefano
Authors: Vezzoli, S., Bruno, V., DeVault, C., Roger, T., Shalaev, V. M., Boltasseva, A., Ferrera, M., Clerici, M., Dubietis, A., and Faccio, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Physical Review Letters
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:0031-9007
ISSN (Online):1079-7114
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 American Physical Society
First Published:First published in Physical Review Letters 120:043902
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727471Quantum-enhanced THz spectroscopy and imagingMatteo ClericiEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P009697/1ENG - ENGINEERING ELECTRONICS & NANO ENG