The objective of this proposal is to develop novel photonic devices and artificial materials-appropriately engineered to display properties not found in nature. A new approach that exploits the complex dielectric permittivity plane in its entirety will be employed. This will be achieved by judiciously controlling both absorption and gain-especially in integrated optical arrangements based on semiconductor wafers. To carry out this task, an interdisciplinary team composed of engineers, physicists, material scientists, and mathematicians with complementary skills and know-how has been assembled.
The intellectual merit of this activity is based on very recent developments in optics that make use of space-time reflection. The non-Hermitian potentials involved in such arrangements break the spatial symmetry, thus allowing a wave to distinguish left from right. This leads to non-reciprocal wave behavior in both space and time. The team will investigate: (i) non-reciprocal light propagation in linear and nonlinear non-Hermitian structures as a means to realize compact optical isolators and circulators; (ii) wavefront and energy propagation for on-chip beam deflectors; (iii) non-Hermitian absorbers and amplifiers by manipulating
The broader impact of this work will be on educating students to drive tomorrow?s advancements in photonics. They will be trained in modeling, material growth, device fabrication, and optical characterization and through constant interactions with their peers at the partner institutions. The team will organize workshops to engage the photonics community at large in non-Hermitian optics.