Epsilon near zero metamaterials for ultra-low power nonlinear applications

Monika Pietrzyk, Muhammad Rishad Kaipurath, Daniele Faccio, Andrea Di Falco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)


Epsilon-near-zero metamaterial samples, composed of five alternating bi-layers of silica and silver, are fabricated using the electron-beam evaporator. Nonlinear properties of samples are measured using a pulsed Ti:sapphire laser by the z-scan technique. It is observed that the real part of the nonlinear Kerr index is one order of magnitude higher than the values expected from a naive averaging of the corresponding coefficients of metal and dielectric layers (the correct averaging should be performed with respect to the nonlinear susceptibility), so that its value is actually of the same order of magnitude as that of a single silver layer. At the same time, the transmission of our samples is remarkably higher than that of a single silver layer of the same thickness. These characteristics have a great impact on the amount of optical energy which can be pumped into the structure, thus allowing its nonlinear properties to be accumulated over long propagation distance along the sample. This property is very promising for applications, which are based on the modulation of phase, amplitude or frequency of light, especially those which require low-power operations, such as all-optical switching and memory elements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISBN (Print)9781628414615
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventPhotonic and Phononic Properties of Engineered Nanostructures V - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 9 Feb 201512 Feb 2015


ConferencePhotonic and Phononic Properties of Engineered Nanostructures V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • effective medium theory
  • Epsilon-near-zero metamaterials
  • Kerr nonlinearity
  • multilayer structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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