Nonlocal effects in temporal metamaterials


Nonlocality is a fundamental concept in photonics. For instance, nonlocal wave-matter interactions in spatially modulated metamaterials enable novel effects, such as giant electromagnetic chirality, artificial magnetism, and negative refraction. Here, we investigate the effects induced by spatial nonlocality in temporal metamaterials, i.e., media with a dielectric permittivity rapidly modulated in time. Via a rigorous multiscale approach, we introduce a general and compact formalism for the nonlocal effective medium theory of temporally periodic metamaterials. In particular, we study two scenarios: (i) a periodic temporal modulation, and (ii) a temporal boundary where the permittivity is abruptly changed in time and subject to periodic modulation. We show that these configurations can give rise to peculiar nonlocal effects, and we highlight the similarities and differences with respect to the spatial-metamaterial counterparts. Interestingly, by tailoring the effective boundary wave-matter interactions, we also identify an intriguing configuration for which a temporal metamaterial can perform the first-order derivative of an incident wavepacket. Our theoretical results, backed by full-wave numerical simulations, introduce key physical ingredients that may pave the way for novel applications. By fully exploiting the time-reversal symmetry breaking, nonlocal temporal metamaterials promise a great potential for efficient, tunable optical computing devices.

Nanophotonics 11(7), 1285