Guiding Waves Along an Infinitesimal Line between Impedance Surfaces

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Original languageEnglish
Article number106802
Journal / PublicationPhysical Review Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2017


We present a new electromagnetic mode that forms at the interface between two planar surfaces laid side by side in free space, effectively guiding energy along an infinitesimal, one-dimensional line. It is shown that this mode occurs when the boundaries have complementary surface impedances, and it is possible to control the mode confinement by altering their values correspondingly. The mode exhibits singular field enhancement, broad bandwidth, direction-dependent polarization, and robustness to certain defects. As a proof-of-concept, experimental results in the microwave regime are provided using patterned conducting sheets. Our proposed effective-medium-based approach is general, however, thus allowing for potential implementation up to optical frequencies. Our system is promising for applications including integrated photonics, sensing, switching, chiral quantum coupling, and reconfigurable waveguides.