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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Dec 1;97(22):223902. Epub 2006 Dec 1.

Gain-assisted slow to superluminal group velocity manipulation in nanowaveguides.

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1
Physics Department, Oregon State University, 301 Weniger Hall, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA.

Abstract

We study the energy propagation in subwavelength waveguides and demonstrate that the mechanism of material gain, previously suggested for loss compensation, is also a powerful tool to manipulate dispersion and propagation characteristics of electromagnetic pulses at the nanoscale. We show theoretically that the group velocity in lossy nanowaveguides can be controlled from slow to superluminal values by the material gain and waveguide geometry and develop an analytical description of the relevant physics. We utilize the developed formalism to show that gain-assisted dispersion management can be used to control the transition between "photonic-funnel" and "photonic-compressor" regimes in tapered nanowaveguides. The phenomenon of strong modulation of group velocity in subwavelength structures can be realized in waveguides with different geometries and is present for both volume and surface modes.

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