Coherent perfect absorbers : time-reversed lasers
Stone, A. Douglas
Date of Issue2010
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
We show that an arbitrary body or aggregate can be made perfectly absorbing at discrete frequencies if a precise amount of dissipation is added under specific conditions of coherent monochromatic illumination. This effect arises from the interaction of optical absorption and wave interference and corresponds to moving a zero of the elastic S matrix onto the real wave vector axis. It is thus the time-reversed process of lasing at threshold. The effect is demonstrated in a simple Si slab geometry illuminated in the 500–900 nm range. Coherent perfect absorbers act as linear, absorptive interferometers, which may be useful as detectors, transducers, and switches.
Physical review letters
© 2010 The American Physical Society. This paper was published in Physical Review Letters and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of The American Physical Society. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.053901. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.