Controlling coherence in epsilon-near-zero metamaterials
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Recently, metamaterials with near-zero refractive index have attracted much attention. Light inside these materials experiences no spatial phase change and extremely large phase velocity, makes these peculiar systems applicable for realizing directional emission, tunneling waveguides, large-area single-mode devices and electromagnetic cloaks. In addition, epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) metamaterials can also enhance light transmission through a subwavelength aperture. Impedance-matched all-dielectric zero-index metamaterials which exhibit Dirac cone dispersions at center of the Brillouin zone, have been experimentally demonstrated at microwave regime and optical frequencies for transverse-magnetic (TM) polarization of light. More recently, it has been also proved that these systems can be realized in a miniaturized in-plane geometry useful for integrated photonic applications, i.e. these metamaterials can be integrated with other optical elements, including waveguides, resonators and interferometers. In this work, using a zero-index metamaterial at the inner and outer sides of a subwavelength aperture, we numerically and experimental study light transmission through and its extraction from the aperture. The metamaterial consists of a combination of two double-layer arrays of scatterers with dissimilar subwavelength dimensions. The metamaterial exhibits zero-index optical response in microwave region. Our numerical investigation shows that the presence of the metamaterial at the inner side of the aperture leads to a considerable increase in the transmission of light through the subwavelength aperture. This enhancement is related to the amplification of the amplitude of the electromagnetic field inside the metamaterial which drastically increases the coupling between free space and the slit. By obtaining the electric field profile of the light passing through the considered NZI/aperture/NZI system at this frequency we found out that in addition to the enhanced transmission there is an excellent beaming of the extracted light from the structure. We have theoretically and experimentally shown that using a zero-index metamaterial at the inner and outer sides of a metallic subwavelength slit can considerably enhance the transmission of light through the aperture and beam its extraction, respectively.