## Abstract

It is well known that the linear electrical response of periodic composites with a microstructure that has sufficiently high symmetry is isotropic. I.e., the macroscopic conductivity or permittivity of such a system, in the absence of an external magnetic field, is a scalar quantity. This is the case for cubic microstructures in three dimensional composites, and for square as well as for triangular and hexagonal or honeycomb microstructures in columnar or thin-film composites. By contrast, it turns out that the macroscopic nonlinear response, in general, is non-isotropic even in such highly symmetric composite structures. We discuss a simple square network model and show that a nonlinear conductivity can be quite anisotropic despite the high (square) symmetry of the system. We also show that a similar model of a metal/dielectric composite with square symmetry can exhibit intrinsic optical bistability that is also strongly anisotropic.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 8-14 |

Number of pages | 7 |

Journal | Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications |

Volume | 270 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 1 Aug 1999 |

Event | Proceedings of the 1999 International Conference on Statistical Physics, Statphys-Calcutta III - Calcutta, India Duration: 4 Jan 1999 → 9 Jan 1999 |

### Funding

Funders | Funder number |
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United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation | |

Israel Science Foundation |