Indirect link between resonant and guided modes on uniform and periodic slabs

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Article number063818
Journal / PublicationPhysical Review A
Issue number6
Online published14 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


A uniform or periodic dielectric slab can serve as an optical waveguide for which guided modes are important, and it can also be used as a diffraction structure for which resonant modes with complex frequencies are relevant. Guided modes are normally studied below the lightline where they exist continuously and emerge from points on the lightline, but isolated guided modes may exist above the lightline and they are the so-called bound states in the continuum. Resonant modes are usually studied above the lightline (defined using the real part of the complex frequency), but they are not connected to the guided modes on the lightline. In this work, through analytic and numerical calculations for uniform and periodic slabs, we establish an indirect link between the resonant and guided modes. It is shown that as the (Bloch) wave number is increased, a resonant mode continues its existence below the lightline, until it reaches its end at an exceptional point (EP) where a pair of improper modes emerge, and one branch of improper modes eventually approaches the lightline at the starting point of a guided mode. Leaky modes with a real frequency and a complex (Bloch) wave number (propagation constant) are also related to the improper modes. They emerge at EPs in eigenvalue formulations where the frequency is regarded as a parameter. Our study is based on a non-Hermitian eigenvalue formulation that includes resonant, improper, and leaky modes, and provides a complete picture for different kinds of eigenmodes on uniform and periodic slabs.