Surface-wave mechanism of subwavelength imaging by a flat left-handed superlens

A. A. Zharov, N. A. Zharova, R. E. Noskov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We develop a theory describing the dynamics and interaction of electromagnetic surface waves (ESWs) resonantly excited by an external source in a slab of left-handed material (LHM) with identical negative (equal to -1) values of dielectric permittivity and magnetic permeability that makes up a so-called perfect lens, or a superlens. We show that subwavelength imaging by a superlens is associated with the degeneracy of the spectrum of eigen electromagnetic surface modes at the interfaces of the metamaterial slab, whereas the dynamic response of the superlens is completely determined by the dynamics of these modes and the dispersion properties of the metamaterial. We obtain conditions that enable one to find out when a superlens produces subwavelength images of an external source. We consider the cases of a stationary and a pulse source, as well as of a source that moves with constant velocity or oscillates in space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-750
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


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