Ultrafast evolution of photonic eigenstates in k-space

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Engelen, Rob J.P. and Sugimoto, Yoshimasa and Gersen, Henkjan and Ikeda, Naoki and Asakawa, Kiyoshi and Kuipers, L. (Kobus) (2007) Ultrafast evolution of photonic eigenstates in k-space. Nature physics, 3 . pp. 401-405. ISSN 1745-2473

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Abstract:Periodic structures have a large influence on propagating waves. This holds for various types of waves over a large range of length scales: from electrons in atomic crystals1 and light in photonic crystals2, 3, 4 to acoustic waves in sonic crystals5. The eigenstates of these waves are best described with a band structure, which represents the relation between the energy and the wavevector (k). This relation is usually not straightforward: owing to the imposed periodicity, bands are folded into every Brillouin zone, inducing splitting of bands and the appearance of bandgaps. As a result, exciting phenomena such as negative refraction6, 7, auto-collimation of waves8, 9 and low group velocities10, 11, 12 arise. k-space investigations of electronic eigenstates have already yielded new insights into the behaviour of electrons at surfaces and in novel materials13, 14, 15, 16. However, for a complete characterization of a structure, an understanding of the mutual coupling of eigenstates is also essential. Here, we investigate the propagation of light pulses through a photonic crystal structure using a near-field microscope17, 18. Tracking the evolution of the photonic eigenstates in both k-space and time allows us to identify individual eigenstates and to uncover their dynamics and coupling to other eigenstates on femtosecond timescales even when co-localized in real space and time.


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Item Type:Article
Copyright:© Nature Publishing Group
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Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/74595
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys576
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