Optical non-Hermitian skin effect in two-dimensional uniform media
preprintposted on 2023-03-11, 17:01 authored by Taiki Yoda, Yuto Moritake, Kenta Takata, Kazuki Yokomizo, Shuichi Murakami, Masaya Notomi
The non-Hermitian skin effect (NHSE) is a novel localization phenomenon in certain non-Hermitian systems with gain and/or loss. Most of previous works study the non-Hermitian skin effect in periodic systems. However, electromagnetic waves often propagate within uniform materials without periodic modulation, and it has not been clear whether the optical NHSE occurs in uniform media such as bulk materials and electromagnetic metamaterials. Here we establish the theory of the optical NHSE in non-Hermitian anisotropic media. We show that the NHSE occurs even in uniform media with appropriate anisotropy and material loss. The localization of non-Hermitian skin modes are completely determined by an effective gauge potential caused by the anisotropy of a dielectric tensor. On the basis of the theory, we propose subwavelength multilayer metamaterials as a novel platform for the optical NHSE. We also propose a new concept of stationarily-excited skin modes whose frequencies are forced to be real in non-Hermitian systems. We find that the NHSE occurs even under the condition that the frequency is forced to be real, which implies that the NHSE we propose is observable under stationary excitation. Our work presents a general theory of the NHSE in homogeneous systems, and pave the way to realize the optical NHSE in bulk materials and metamaterials.