Boundary effects of weak nonlocality in multilayered dielectric metamaterials


Nonlocal (spatial-dispersion) effects in multilayered metamaterials composed of periodic stacks of alternating, deeply subwavelength dielectric layers are known to be negligibly weak. Counterintuitively, under certain critical conditions, weak nonlocality may build up strong boundary effects that are not captured by conventional (local) effective-medium models based on simple mixing formulas. Here we show that this phenomenon can be fruitfully studied and understood in terms of error propagation in the iterated maps of the trace and antitrace of the optical transfer matrix of the multilayer. Our approach effectively parameterizes these peculiar effects via remarkably simple and insightful closed-form expressions, which enable direct identification of the critical parameters and regimes. We also show how these boundary effects can be captured by suitable nonlocal corrections.

Physical Review Applied 10(3),034060