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Mode conversion and resonant absorption in inhomogeneous materials with flat bands

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posted on 2023-01-12, 14:55 authored by Kihong Kim, Seulong Kim
Mode conversion of transverse electromagnetic waves into longitudinal oscillations and the associated resonant absorption of wave energy in inhomogeneous plasmas is a phenomenon that has been studied extensively in plasma physics. We show that precisely analogous phenomena occur generically in electronic and photonic systems where dispersionless flat bands and dispersive bands coexist in the presence of an inhomogeneous potential or medium parameter. We demonstrate that the systems described by the pseudospin-1 Dirac equation with two dispersive bands and one flat band display mode conversion and resonant absorption in a very similar manner to $p$-polarized electromagnetic waves in an unmagnetized plasma by calculating the mode conversion coefficient explicitly using the invariant imbedding method. We also show that a similar mode conversion process takes place in many other systems with a flat band such as pseudospin-2 Dirac systems, continuum models obtained for one-dimensional stub and sawtooth lattices, and two-dimensional electron systems with a quadratic band and a nearly flat band. We discuss some experimental implications of mode conversion in flat-band materials and metamaterials.



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