A new paradigm for breaking the electromagnetic interrelationships of 3D bulk metamaterials

Credits: Lannebère et al, DOI: 10.1103 /PhysRevLett.128.013902

Transistors based on semiconductor materials are widely used electronic components with many excellent properties. For example, the electrical response is non-reciprocal. That is, you can separate two parts of the circuit so that one part (input section) affects the other part (output section), but not the other. Around the road. In addition, the transistor can amplify the voltage signal, thereby supplying energy to the system. Non-energy conservation interactions are commonly referred to as “non-Elmitian”.

Researchers at the University of Coimbra and the University of Lisbon, Instituto de Telecomunicações, recently introduced a new class of bulk materials inspired by the non-reciprocal and non-hermeat responses of traditional semiconductor-based transistors. They have 3D (3D) bulk metamaterials like these transistors, Physical review letter..

Mário Silveirinha, one of the researchers who conducted the study, told was intrigued if it was feasible to have Bulk material With proper bias, you can operate Electromagnetic waves Just as a transistor manipulates a voltage signal. “

The main purpose of a recent study by Silveirinha and his colleagues was to identify new ways to obtain non-reciprocal and / or non-Hermitian responses that can be controlled by the electrostatic field of a photonic system. Systems that can be controlled using electric fields are ubiquitous, which offers significant advantages over traditional solutions, such as bulk magnetic circuit-based solutions, which improve performance and facilitate size reduction.

“Our paper theoretically shows that nonlinear materials with broken inversion symmetry can exhibit a fairly exotic non-Hermitian response in non-equilibrium when biased by an electric field.” Silveirinha said. “Specifically, the interaction of electrostatic field bias with material non-linearity is somewhat similar to the response of semiconductor MOSFETs, but can result in bulk non-reciprocity and non-elmeat response of 3D bulk materials. I predicted. “

The new 3D bulk metamaterials identified by researchers have the potential to exhibit highly exotic physics. For example, because of the non-Hermitian response, those different field modes do not carry power independently, and interference between the two waves can cause so-called “power growls”. As a result of this growl, the same 3D bulk material can act as either a gaining material (ie, gaining energy) or a losing material (ie, dissipating energy), depending on the field polarization. there is.

“We introduced the idea of ​​using 3D bulk metamaterials to mimic the behavior of transistors, which are point-type devices (that is, zero dimensions),” says Silveirinha. “We believe that our work can have important practical applications because of the advantages of electrically biased systems in terms of performance, integrability and miniaturization.”

In the future, 3D bulk metamaterials inspired by transistors introduced by this team of researchers can be used to create electromagnetic isolators, which are two-port devices that transfer energy in one direction. These isolators could be a viable alternative to Faraday isolators, which are devices that transmit light in one direction and block light in the opposite direction. These devices are commonly used to protect laser sources from damage caused by unstable feedback and backward reflected light.

“Because common communication systems are designed modularly (that is, using modules that perform specific tasks or process signals in specific ways), electromagnetic isolators are of all-optical circuits. It’s very important for development, “Silveirinha explains. “Ideally, the response of a particular module should be independent of the other modules it connects to. To achieve this, separate the different modules and” one-way “(ie, non-unidirectional). It is imperative to allow only interactions). Interaction. “

In addition to allowing non-interaction within the device, the newly identified metamaterial exhibits a non-Hermitian response. This means that the electromagnetic signal can be amplified. Therefore, in the future, it may also be used to create terahertz lasers and terahertz amplifiers.

“The non-Hermitian and non-reciprocal responses we have identified can lead to a variety of innovations and devices, so there are many exciting paths to explore next,” says Silveirinha. “For example, it can enable the realization of new classes of oscillators, distributed amplifiers, optical isolators, circulators, and other devices for nanophotonics applications.

As part of his current research efforts, Silveirinha and his colleagues are exploring various practical implementations of 3D bulk metamaterials. The most obvious of these may be the use of them to create a system containing an array of transistors.

“Our preliminary analysis shows that metamaterials can actually provide the desired response when used to create transistor arrays,” added Silveirinha. “We are currently working on an experimental demonstration of a 1D version of such a system, and we believe that the relevant response can be achieved using natural materials in a non-equilibrium state (such as injection current). And other situations. Opportunity. ”

System for non-reciprocal transmission of microwave sound waves

For more information:
Sylvain Lannebèreetal, a semiconductor transistor-inspired non-reciprocal and non-Elmician material response, Physical review letter (2022). DOI: 10.1103 / PhysRevLett.128.013902

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A new paradigm for breaking the electromagnetic interrelationships of 3D bulk metamaterials

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