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Opt Express. 2011 Jun 6;19(12):11114-9. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.011114.

Arbitrarily thin metamaterial structure for perfect absorption and giant magnification.

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  • 1Centre for Optical and Electromagnetic Research, State Key Laboratory of Modern Optical Instrumentations, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.


In our common understanding, for strong absorption or amplification in a slab structure, the desire of reducing the slab thickness seems contradictory to the condition of small loss or gain. In this paper, this common understanding is challenged. It is shown that an arbitrarily thin metamaterial layer can perfectly absorb or giantly amplify an incident plane wave at a critical angle when the real parts of the permittivity and permeability of the metamaterial are zero while the absolute imaginary parts can be arbitrarily small. The metamaterial layer needs a totally reflective substrate for perfect absorption, while this is not required for giant magnification. Detailed analysis for the existence of the critical angle and physical explanation for these abnormal phenomena are given.

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