Vincent Ginis

Transformation optics beyond the manipulation of light trajectories

V Ginis, P Tassin
Since its inception in 2006, transformation optics has become an established tool to understand and design electromagnetic systems. It provides a geometrical perspective into the properties of light waves without the need for a ray approximation. Most studies have focused on modifying the trajectories of light rays, e.g. beam benders, lenses, invisibility cloaks, etc. In this contribution, we explore transformation optics beyond the manipulation of light trajectories. With a few well-chosen examples, we demonstrate that transformation optics can be used to manipulate electromagnetic fields up to an unprecedented level. In the first example, we introduce an electromagnetic cavity that allows for deep subwavelength confinement of light. The cavity is designed with transformation optics even though the concept of trajectory ceases to have any meaning in a structure as small as this cavity. In the second example, we show that the properties of Cherenkov light emitted in a transformation-optical material can be understood and modified from simple geometric considerations. Finally, we show that optical forces—a quadratic function of the fields—follow the rules of transformation optics too. By applying a folded coordinate transformation to a pair of waveguides, optical forces can be enhanced just as if the waveguides were closer together. With these examples, we open up an entirely new spectrum of devices that can be conceived using transformation optics.

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V Ginis, P Tassin