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Proceedings Paper

Ultraslow and stored light in metamaterials: new developments and verifications
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Paper Abstract

Recently there has been a considerable interest in metamaterial waveguide structures capable of dramatically slowing down or, even, completely stopping light. Here, we shall explain in some detail the working principle behind the deceleration and/or stopping of light in metamaterial structures, and review the various, metamaterial-enabled, methods that have been proposed thus far towards achieving such a goal. Further, we will concisely describe how one can construct zero-loss metamaterials over a continuous and broad (but not infinite) range of frequencies, which is an essential prerequisite for any slow-light system. Moreover, it will be explained that inside such waveguide structures light can in principle be stopped (zero group velocity, vg = 0) even in the presence of losses. By nature, metamaterialenabled schemes for stopping/storing light invoke solid-state materials and, as such, are not subject to low-temperature or atomic coherence limitations. Furthermore, these methods simultaneously allow for broad bandwidth operation, since they do not rely on group index resonances; large delay-bandwidth products, since a wave packet can, in principle, be completely stopped and buffered indefinitely; and (for the case, in particular, where a negative-index metamaterial is used) high, almost 100%, in/out-coupling efficiencies. Thus, we conclude that these methods for trapping photons, which can be realised using existing technology, could open the way to a multitude of hybrid optoelectronic devices to be used in 'quantum information' processing, communication networks and signal processors and may conceivably herald a new realm of combined metamaterials and slow light research.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 February 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7226, Advances in Slow and Fast Light II, 72260N (2 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.816330
Show Author Affiliations
Kosmas L. Tsakmakidis, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Ortwin Hess, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7226:
Advances in Slow and Fast Light II
Selim M. Shahriar; Philip R. Hemmer; John R. Lowell, Editor(s)

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