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.

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

Clerici M;
2018-01-01

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.
2018
2018
Vezzoli, S; Bruno, V; Devault, C; Roger, T; Shalaev, Vm; Boltasseva, A; Ferrera, M; Clerici, M; Dubietis, A; Faccio, D
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2165602
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