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Broadband field enhancement and giant nonlinear effects in terminated unidirectional plasmonic waveguides

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posted on 2023-11-30, 20:01 authored by S. Ali Hassani Gangaraj, Boyuan Jin, Christos Argyropoulos, Francesco Monticone
Unidirectional wave propagation in nonreciprocal structures enables exciting opportunities to control and enhance wave-matter interactions in extreme ways. Within this context, here we investigate the possibility of using terminated unidirectional plasmonic waveguides to enhance typically weak nonlinear effects by orders of magnitude. We theoretically demonstrate remarkable levels of electric field enhancement and confinement (field hot-spots) when the unidirectional waveguiding structure is terminated with a suitable boundary that fully stops the one-way mode. Such a large field enhancement, originating from a nonresonant effect, is fundamentally different from the narrow-band field concentration effects in resonant plasmonic structures. Instead, it is analogous to the broadband response of plasmonic tapers, but without the need for any adiabatic impedance matching. We show that this effect can indeed lead to a substantial boosting of nonlinear light-matter interactions, exemplified by an improvement of several orders of magnitude in the third-harmonic-generation efficiency, which is of large significance for several applications. More broadly, our findings show the potential of extreme nonreciprocal configurations for enhanced wave-matter interactions.

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