Theoretical description of bifacial optical nanomaterials

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In general, optical nanomaterials composed of noncentrosymmetric nanoscatterers are bifacial, meaning that two counter-propagating waves inside the material behave differently. Thus far a practical theory for the description of such materials has been missing. Herein, we present a theory that connects the design of the bifacial nanomaterial’s “atoms” with the refractive index and wave impedance of the medium. We also introduce generalized Fresnel coefficients and investigate the role of electromagnetic multipoles on the bifaciality. We find that in any material two counter-propagating waves must experience the same refractive index, but their impedances can differ. The model is demonstrated in practice by the design of a nanomaterial slab with one of its facets being optically reflective, while the other being totally non-reflective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23471-23485
Number of pages16
JournalOptics Express
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • optical nanomaterials
  • spatial dispersion
  • wave parameters


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