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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2011 Sep 13;369(1950):3510-24. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0143.

Loss compensation by gain and spasing.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.


We present a theory of the effective dielectric response of metamaterials containing gain. We demonstrate analytically that the conditions of spaser generation and the full loss compensation in a dense resonant plasmonic-gain metamaterial are identical. Consequently, attempting the full compensation or overcompensation of losses by gain will lead to an instability and a transition to a spaser state. This will limit (clamp) the inversion and eliminate the net gain. As a result, the full loss compensation (overcompensation) in such metamaterials is impossible. The criterion of the loss overcompensation, leading to the instability and spasing, is given in an analytical and a universal (independent from system geometry) form. Comparison with existing experiments is carried out.

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