Polariton excitation in epsilon-near-zero slabs: transient trapping of slow light

Alessandro Ciattoni*, Andrea Marini, Carlo Rizza, Michael Scalora, Fabio Biancalana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
213 Downloads (Pure)


We numerically investigate the propagation of a spatially localized and quasimonochromatic electromagnetic pulse through a slab with a Lorentz dielectric response in the epsilon-near-zero regime, where the real part of the permittivity vanishes at the pulse carrier frequency. We show that the pulse is able to excite a set of virtual polariton modes supported by the slab, with the excitation undergoing a generally slow damping due to absorption and radiation leakage. Our numerical and analytical approaches indicate that in its transient dynamics the electromagnetic field displays the very same enhancement of the field component perpendicular to the slab, as in the monochromatic regime. The transient trapping is inherently accompanied by a significantly reduced group velocity ensuing from the small dielectric permittivity, thus providing an alternative platform for achieving control and manipulation of slow light.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053853
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013




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