Optical Time Reversal from Time-Dependent Epsilon-Near-Zero Media

Stefano Vezzoli, Vincenzo Bruno, Clayton DeVault, Thomas Roger, Vladimir M. Shalaev, Alexandra Boltasseva, Marcello Ferrera, Matteo Clerici, Audrius Dubietis, Daniele Faccio

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31 Citations (Scopus)
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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)SCIEAS0036-807510.1126/science.1162087]. 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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043902
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume120
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2018

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  • Datasets

    Optical time reversal from time-dependent Epsilon-Near-Zero media.

    Faccio, D. F. A. (Creator) & Vezzoli, S. (Creator), Heriot-Watt University, 10 Nov 2017

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    Cite this

    Vezzoli, S., Bruno, V., DeVault, C., Roger, T., Shalaev, V. M., Boltasseva, A., Ferrera, M., Clerici, M., Dubietis, A., & Faccio, D. (2018). Optical Time Reversal from Time-Dependent Epsilon-Near-Zero Media. Physical Review Letters, 120(4), [043902]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.043902