Metasurfaces offer exotic optical properties, which often originate from carefully designed material geometries. With locked geometries, these metasurfaces are difficult or impossible to change post-fabrication. Here, we theoretically explore a nano-scale coaxial structure capable of adjustably manipulating the polarization, phase, and spatial distribution of light through the introduction of parity-time (PT) symmetric perturbations. Coaxial waveguides possess degenerate modes, corresponding to different orbital angular momentum (OAM) states. The degeneracy of OAM modes can be lifted through the introduction of any non-zero amount of gain and loss into the structure in a way that matches the azimuthal periodicity of the degenerate mode pair. New hybrid complex conjugate modes are created which lose their pure OAM nature and are either amplifying or lossy. We confirm this behavior using both a Hamiltonian formulation and degenerate perturbation theory, and propose this selective excitation and absorption scheme as a new method of filtering for mode division multiplexing in on-chip nanophotonic systems. In addition to the creation of new hybrid modes, we show that these PT-symmetric perturbations in coaxial apertures are capable of converting incident circularly polarized light into linearly polarized light with unity efficiency. Further, due to the localization of field intensity within the gain sections, it is possible to rotate linear polarization and induce up to a pi-phase shift. We describe how our PT-symmetric coaxial aperture could function as a reconfigurable meta-atom for phase, amplitude, and polarization controlled meta-surfaces, and discuss routes toward unity-efficiency, reconfigurable holography.
Brian Baum, Jennifer Dionne, Hadiseh Alaeian, Vladan Jankovic, and Mark Lawrence, "A reconfigurable parity-time symmetric meta-atom for polarization and phase control
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9918, Metamaterials, Metadevices, and Metasystems 2016, 99182E (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: September 01, 2016; Published: 9 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2239297.5159106960001.
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