Unidirectional Excitation and Reflection of Surface Plasmon Polaritons using Non-Hermitian Metagratings

MIE Associate Professor Yongmin Liu’s group published their research on “Subwavelength control of light transport at the exceptional point by non-Hermitian metagratings” in Science Advances.


The concept of non-Hermitian physics, originally developed in the context of quantum field theory, has been investigated on distinct photonic platforms and created a plethora of counterintuitive phenomena. Interfacing non-Hermitian photonics and nanoplasmonics, here, we demonstrate unidirectional excitation and reflection of surface plasmon polaritons by elaborately designing the permittivity profile of non-Hermitian metagratings, in which the eigenstates of the system can coalesce at an exceptional point. Continuous tuning of the excitation or reflection ratios is also possible through altering the geometry of the metagrating. The controllable directionality and robust performance are attributed to the phase transition near the exceptional point, which is fully confirmed by the theoretic calculation, numerical simulation, and experimental characterization. Our work pushes non-Hermitian photonics to the nanoscale regime and paves the way toward high-performance plasmonic devices with superior controllability, performance, and robustness by using the topological effect associated with non-Hermitian systems.

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering