Physical unclonable function (PUF) has emerged as a promising and important security primitive for use in modern systems and devices, due to their increasingly embedded, distributed, unsupervised, and physically exposed nature. However, optical PUFs based on speckle patterns, chaos, or ‘strong’ disorder are so far notoriously sensitive to probing and/or environmental variations. Here we report an optical PUF designed for robustness against fluctuations in optical angular/spatial alignment, polarization, and temperature. This is achieved using an integrated quasicrystal interferometer (QCI) which sensitively probes disorder while: (1) ensuring all modes are engineered to exhibit approximately the same confinement factor in the predominant thermo-optic medium (e. g. silicon), and (2) constraining the transverse spatial-mode and polarization degrees of freedom. This demonstration unveils a new means for amplifying and harnessing the effects of ‘weak’ disorder in photonics and is an important and enabling step toward new generations of optics-enabled hardware and information security devices.
Metasurfaces, composed of specifically designed subwavelength units in a two-dimensional plane, offer a new paradigm to design ultracompact optical elements that show great potentials for miniaturizing optical systems. In the past few decades, metasurfaces have drawn broad interests in multidisciplinary communities owing to their capability of manipulating various parameters of the light wave with plentiful functionalities. Among them, pixelated polarization manipulation in the subwavelength scale is a distinguished ability of metasurfaces compared to traditional optical components. However, the inherent ohmic loss of plasmonic-type metasurfaces severely hinders their broad applications due to the low efficiency. Therefore, metasurfaces composed of high-refractive-index all-dielectric antennas have been proposed to achieve high-efficiency devices. Moreover, anisotropic dielectric nanostructures have been shown to support large refractive index contrast between orthogonal polarizations of light and thus provide an ideal platform for polarization manipulation. Herein, we present a review of recent progress on all-dielectric metasurfaces for polarization manipulation, including principles and emerging applications. We believe that high efficient all-dielectric metasurfaces with the unprecedented capability of the polarization control can be widely applied in areas of polarization detection and imaging, data encryption, display, optical communication and quantum optics to realize ultracompact and miniaturized optical systems.
We review the recent progress regarding the physics and applications of boron nitride bulk crystals and its epitaxial layers in various fields. First, we highlight its importance from optoelectronics side, for simple devices operating in the deep ultraviolet, in view of sanitary applications. Emphasis will be directed towards the unusually strong efficiency of the exciton–phonon coupling in this indirect band gap semiconductor. Second, we shift towards nanophotonics, for the management of hyper-magnification and of medical imaging. Here, advantage is taken of the efficient coupling of the electromagnetic field with some of its phonons, those interacting with light at 12 and 6 µm in vacuum. Third, we present the different defects that are currently studied for their propensity to behave as single photon emitters, in the perspective to help them becoming challengers of the NV centres in diamond or of the double vacancy in silicon carbide in the field of modern and developing quantum technologies.
Self-accelerating beams show considerable captivating phenomena and applications owing to their transverse acceleration, diffraction-free and self-healing properties in free space. Metasurfaces consisting of dielectric or metallic subwavelength structures attract enormous attention to acquire self-accelerating beams, owing to their extraordinary capabilities in the arbitrary control of electromagnetic waves. However, because the self-accelerating beam generator possesses a large phase gradient, traditional discrete metasurfaces suffer from insufficient phase sampling, leading to a low efficiency and narrow spectral band. To overcome this limitation, a versatile platform of catenary-inspired dielectric metasurfaces is proposed to endow arbitrary continuous wavefronts. A high diffraction efficiency approaching 100% is obtained in a wide spectral range from 9 to 13 μm. As a proof-of-concept demonstration, the broadband, high-efficiency and high-quality self-accelerating beam generation is experimentally verified in the infrared band. Furthermore, the chiral response of the proposed metasurfaces enables the spin-controlled beam acceleration. Considering these superior performances, this design methodology may find wide applications in particle manipulation, high-resolution imaging, optical vortex generation, and so forth.
Photonic topological insulators (PTIs) bring markedly new opportunities to photonic devices with low dissipation and directional transmission of signal over a wide wavelength range due to the broadband topological protection. However, the maximum gap/mid-gap ratio of PTIs is below 10% and hardly further improved duo to the lack of new bandwidth enhancement mechanism. In this paper, a PTI with the gap/mid-gap ratio of 16.25% is proposed. The designed PTI has a honeycomb lattice structure with triangular air holes, and such a wide bandwidth is obtained by optimizing the refractive-index profile of the primitive cell for increasing the energy proportion in the geometric perturbation region. The PTI shows a large topological nontrivial gap (the gap/mid-gap ratio 33.4%) with the bandwidth approaching its theoretical limit. The edge states propagate smoothly around sharp bends within 1430–1683 nm. Due to topological protection, the bandwidth only decreases 1.38% to 1450–1683 nm under 1%-random-bias disorders. The proposed PTI has a potential application in future high-capacity and nonlinear topological photonic devices.
We provide a critical analysis of some of the commonly used theoretical models to describe quantum plasmons in finite size media. We summarize the standard approach based on a Fano diagonalization and we show explicit discrepancies in the obtained results by taking the limit of vanishing coupling between the electromagnetic field and the material medium. We then discuss the derivation of spontaneous emission in a plasmonic environment, which usually relies on a Green tensor and is based on an incomplete identity. The effect of the missing terms is calculated in a one-dimensional model.
Controlling spin electromagnetic waves by ultra-thin Pancharatnam-Berry (PB) metasurfaces show promising prospects in the optical and wireless communications. One of the major challenge is to precisely control over the complex wavefronts and spatial power intensity characteristics without relying on massive algorithm optimizations, which requires independent amplitude and phase tuning. However, traditional PB phase can only provide phase control. Here, by introducing the interference of dual geometric phases, we propose a metasurface that can provide arbitrary amplitude and phase manipulations on meta-atom level for spin waves, achieving direct routing of multi-beams with desired intensity distribution. As the experimental demonstration, we design two microwave metasurfaces for respectively controlling the far-field and near-field multi-beam generations with desired spatial scatterings and power allocations, achieving full control of both sophisticated wavefronts and their energy distribution. This approach to directly generate editable spatial beam intensity with tailored wavefront may pave a way to design advanced meta-devices that can be potentially used in many real-world applications, such as multifunctional, multiple-input multiple-output and high-quality imaging devices.