Nonreciprocal transmission of electromagnetic waves with nonlinear active plasmonic metasurfaces

Tianjing Guo, Christos Argyropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Nonreciprocity is important for optical information processing, full-duplex communications, and protection of sensitive laser equipment from unwanted reflections. However, it is very challenging to obtain strong nonreciprocal response in optical frequencies, especially when nanoscale configurations are considered. In this work, we solve this problem by demonstrating a compact bifacial plasmonic metasurface that acts as an ultrathin nonreciprocal transmission filter at near-infrared frequencies. The proposed nanostructure is simple to be practically implemented, since it is composed of two silver nanostripes with different dimensions placed on both sides of an ultrathin active dielectric spacing layer. The introduced gain leads to an exceptional point formation in the linear operation regime, where unidirectional perfect transmission due to loss compensation is achieved from the presented non-Hermitian parity-time symmetric nanoscale system. The demonstrated plasmonic metasurface breaks the Lorentz reciprocity law at the nanoscale when its nonlinear response is considered, mainly due to its spatially asymmetric geometry combined with enhanced nonlinearity. Strong and broadband nonreciprocity with unity transmission contrast from opposite directions is realized under relatively low-input laser intensity values. Furthermore, asymmetric nonlinear third-harmonic generation with a pronounced contrast is also illustrated by the same nonreciprocal metasurface design. The findings of this work can lead to the realization of various self-induced nonreciprocal nanophotonic configurations, such as integrated ultrafast switches, ultrathin protective coatings, and asymmetric directional imaging devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235418
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 15 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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