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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Feb 8;110(6):063901. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Nonlinear interference and unidirectional wave mixing in metamaterials.

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Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.


When both electric and magnetic mechanisms contribute to a particular nonlinear optical process, there exists the possibility for nonlinear interference, often characterized by constructive or destructive interference in the radiation pattern of harmonics and mix waves. However, observation of a significant effect from nonlinear interference requires careful balancing of the various contributions. For this purpose, we propose an artificial metamaterial, using the formalism of nonlinear magnetoelectric coupling to simultaneously engineer the nonlinear polarization and magnetization. We confirm our predictions of nonlinear interference with both simulations and experiment, demonstrating unidirectional wave mixing in two microwave metamaterials. Our results point toward an ever wider range of nonlinear properties, in which nonlinear interference is just one of many potential applications.

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