Phase mismatch-free nonlinear propagation in optical zero-index materials

Haim Suchowski, Kevin O'Brien, Zi Jing Wong, Alessandro Salandrino, Xiaobo Yin, Xiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Phase matching is a critical requirement for coherent nonlinear optical processes such as frequency conversion and parametric amplification. Phase mismatch prevents microscopic nonlinear sources from combining constructively, resulting in destructive interference and thus very low efficiency. We report the experimental demonstration of phase mismatch - free nonlinear generation in a zero-index optical metamaterial. In contrast to phase mismatch compensation techniques required in conventional nonlinear media, the zero index eliminates the need for phase matching, allowing efficient nonlinear generation in both forward and backward directions. We demonstrate phase mismatch - free nonlinear generation using intrapulse four-wave mixing, where we observed a forward-to-backward nonlinear emission ratio close to unity. The removal of phase matching in nonlinear optical metamaterials may lead to applications such as multidirectional frequency conversion and entangled photon generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1223-1226
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume342
Issue number6163
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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