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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 22 — Oct. 24, 2011
  • pp: 21404–21418

Total internal reflection and evanescent gain

Jon Olav Grepstad and Johannes Skaar  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 22, pp. 21404-21418 (2011)

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Total internal reflection occurs for large angles of incidence, when light is incident from a high-refractive-index medium onto a low-index medium. We consider the situation where the low-index medium is active. By invoking causality in its most fundamental form, we argue that evanescent gain may or may not appear, depending on the analytic and global properties of the permittivity function. For conventional, weak gain media, we show that there is an absolute instability associated with infinite transverse dimensions. This instability can be ignored or eliminated in certain cases, for which evanescent gain prevails.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(140.3380) Lasers and laser optics : Laser materials
(250.4480) Optoelectronics : Optical amplifiers
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics
(160.3918) Materials : Metamaterials

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: July 1, 2011
Revised Manuscript: August 22, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: September 25, 2011
Published: October 14, 2011

Jon Olav Grepstad and Johannes Skaar, "Total internal reflection and evanescent gain," Opt. Express 19, 21404-21418 (2011)

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