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Photonic doping of epsilon-near-zero media

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Science  10 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6329, pp. 1058-1062
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal2672

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Doped photonics

Doping semiconductor materials with impurity atoms enables control of the optoelectronic properties that enhance functionality. Liberal et al. describe numerically and experimentally an analogous doping effect for a group of photonic materials. They introduced a dielectric into an otherwise nonmagnetic material, which produced a magnetic response. The generality of the method should allow the design of photonic materials with enhanced and controlled electromagnetic response.

Science, this issue p. 1058

Abstract

Doping a semiconductor with foreign atoms enables the control of its electrical and optical properties. We transplant the concept of doping to macroscopic photonics, demonstrating that two-dimensional dielectric particles immersed in a two-dimensional epsilon-near-zero medium act as dopants that modify the medium’s effective permeability while keeping its effective permittivity near zero, independently of their positions within the host. The response of a large body can be tuned with a single impurity, including cases such as engineering perfect magnetic conductor and epsilon-and-mu-near-zero media with nonmagnetic constituents. This effect is experimentally demonstrated at microwave frequencies via the observation of geometry-independent tunneling. This methodology might provide a new pathway for engineering electromagnetic metamaterials and reconfigurable optical systems.

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