On the transition between complementary medium and zero-refractive-index medium
Department of Physics and William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology - Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Received: 17 July 2012
Accepted: 27 August 2012
It is known that “complementary media” which are constructed as slabs that optically cancel each other have optical properties that are different from materials with a zero refractive index. However, a zero-refractive-index material can be viewed as a special case of complementary media in which the constitutive parameters go to zero. This apparent inconsistency is resolved as we find that the optical property of a system can change from complementary-like to a zero-index–like as the system parameters change when absorption is considered properly and there is an intermediate regime in which the complementary system absorbs half of the incident light. The physical reason underlying this anomalous absorption is explained.
PACS: 78.67.Pt – Multilayers; superlattices; photonic structures; metamaterials / 42.25.Bs – Wave propagation, transmission and absorption
© EPLA, 2012