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Nat Commun. 2014;5:3226. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4226.

Photonic spin Hall effect in hyperbolic metamaterials for polarization-controlled routing of subwavelength modes.

Author information

1
1] National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO), Saint Petersburg 197101, Russia [2].
2
1] Department of Physics, King's College London, London WC2R 2LS, UK [2].
3
1] Nanophotonics Technology Center, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain [2].
4
National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO), Saint Petersburg 197101, Russia.
5
1] National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO), Saint Petersburg 197101, Russia [2] Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, Saint Petersburg 194021, Russia.
6
1] National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO), Saint Petersburg 197101, Russia [2] Nonlinear Physics Centre and Centre for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia.
7
Department of Physics, King's College London, London WC2R 2LS, UK.

Abstract

The routing of light in a deep subwavelength regime enables a variety of important applications in photonics, quantum information technologies, imaging and biosensing. Here we describe and experimentally demonstrate the selective excitation of spatially confined, subwavelength electromagnetic modes in anisotropic metamaterials with hyperbolic dispersion. A localized, circularly polarized emitter placed at the boundary of a hyperbolic metamaterial is shown to excite extraordinary waves propagating in a prescribed direction controlled by the polarization handedness. Thus, a metamaterial slab acts as an extremely broadband, nearly ideal polarization beam splitter for circularly polarized light. We perform a proof of concept experiment with a uniaxial hyperbolic metamaterial at radio-frequencies revealing the directional routing effect and strong subwavelength λ/300 confinement. The proposed concept of metamaterial-based subwavelength interconnection and polarization-controlled signal routing is based on the photonic spin Hall effect and may serve as an ultimate platform for either conventional or quantum electromagnetic signal processing.

PMID:
24526135
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4226

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