Nonlinear and Tunable Metamaterials for Optics on a Chip Devices
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This study is focused on fundamentals and applications of linear and nonlinear magnetic and negative index metamaterials (MMs) for the realization of novel regimes of guided wave propagation and interactions. The main topics of this dissertation include nonlinear interactions of guided waves in MM couplers, metamagnetic fiber-based and anisotropic systems. We demonstrate that the unique properties of MMs might open fundamentally new opportunities for the development of ultra-compact signal processing functionalities for on-chip applications. In particular, all optical processing functionalities, including buffering, memory, computing, and signal routing rely on the ability to all-optically control light with light. One of the most promising components of such signal processing systems is a waveguide coupler. One of the fundamental challenges associated with these components is their relatively large footprint preventing further downsizing and luck of bistable response that is necessary for the realization of optical storage devices. To overcome this challenge, we explored nonlinear transmission properties of asymmetric nonlinear couplers with one channel made of positive index material and the other channel made of negative index material while only one of the channels is nonlinear and demonstrated for the first time that such asymmetric couplers can be bi- and multi-stable. Another existing challenge in realization of compact opto-electronic signal processing on a chip is interfacing of such components with existing optical transmission systems that are often largely based on well-developed optical fiber technology. Such fiber-MMs integration may provide fundamentally new solutions for photonic-on-a-chip systems for sensing, sub wavelength imaging, image processing, and biomedical applications. Yet another necessary functionality that would significantly enhance optical signal processing applications is re-configurability and tunability. Therefore, we proposed and investigated metamagnetic structures that are combined with nonlinear and anisotropic materials. Thus based on all the materials we investigated, we are able to demonstrate the design of a tunable nonlinear optical metamaterial coupler based on hyperbolic metamaterials.