Phase Transition in ℘T Symmetric Active Plasmonic Systems

Marios Mattheakis, Thomas Oikonomou, Mario I. Molina, George P. Tsironis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are coherent electromagnetic surface waves trapped on an insulator-conductor interface. The SPPs decay exponentially along the propagation due to conductor losses, restricting the SPPs propagation length to few microns. Gain materials can be used to counterbalance the aforementioned losses. We provide an exact expression for the gain, in terms of the optical properties of the interface, for which the losses are eliminated. In addition, we show that systems characterized by lossless SPP propagation are related to ℘T symmetric systems. Furthermore, we derive an analytical critical value of the gain describing a phase transition between lossless and prohibited SPPs propagation. The regime of the aforementioned propagation can be directed by the optical properties of the system under scrutiny. Finally, we perform COMSOL simulations verifying the theoretical findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7298367
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


  • PT symmetry
  • Surface plasmons polaritons
  • active/gain materials
  • lossless propagation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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