Theodore Maiman Series: Physics and applications of epsilon-near-zero materials (Prof. Dr. Robert Boyd)
Prof. Dr. Robert Boyd
Department of Physics, University of Ottawa
Institute of Optics and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Hörsaal, Raum B 0.32 / New lecture hall, Room B 0.32
In this talk, we describe some of the unusual optical properties of materials, known as epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) materials, for which the dielectric permittivity is very small. We describe some of the unusual geometrical optical properties of such materials and present theoretical predictions of how fundamental radiative properties are modified under such conditions. We also describe some of the nonlinear optical properties of these materials. Recent work has shown that optical materials can display an extremely large optical nonlinear response in their ENZ spectral region.
We review this topic from the point of view of developing a conceptual understanding of why the nonlinear response is large under ENZ conditions and of exploring the implications of this work for applications in the field of photonics. In the work published in reference, we reported that indium tin oxide (ITO) has an ENZ wavelength of approximately 1240 nm. In this spectral region, the value of n2 is as much as 1000 times larger than its value in the visible spectral region. The unprecedently large value of n2 suggests that these materials will play a key role in the future development of applications in the field of photonics.