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Reflectionless excitation of arbitrary photonic structures: A general theory

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posted on 2023-11-30, 20:42 authored by A. Douglas Stone, William R. Sweeney, Chia Wei Hsu, Kabish Wisal, Zeyu Wang
We outline a recently developed theory of impedance-matching, or reflectionless excitation of arbitrary finite photonic structures in any dimension. It describes the necessary and sufficient conditions for perfectly reflectionless excitation to be possible, and specifies how many physical parameters must be tuned to achieve this. In the absence of geometric symmetries the tuning of at least one structural parameter will be necessary to achieve reflectionless excitation. The theory employs a recently identified set of complex-frequency solutions of the Maxwell equations as a starting point, which are defined by having zero reflection into a chosen set of input channels, and which are referred to as R-zeros. Tuning is generically necessary in order to move an R-zero to the real-frequency axis, where it becomes a physical steady-state solution, referred to as a Reflectionless Scattering Mode (RSM). Except in single-channel systems, the RSM corresponds to a particular input wavefront, and any other wavefront will generally not be reflectionless. In a structure with parity and time-reversal symmmetry or with parity-time symmetry, generically a subset of R-zeros is real, and reflectionless states exist without structural tuning. Such systems can exhibit symmetry-breaking transitions when two RSMs meet, which corresponds to a recently identified kind of exceptional point at which the shape of the reflection and transmission resonance lineshape is flattened.

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