Perfect absorption in complex scattering systems with or without hidden symmetries

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Chen, L., Kottos, T. & Anlage, S.M. Perfect absorption in complex scattering systems with or without hidden symmetries. Nat Commun 11, 5826 (2020).


Wavefront shaping (WFS) schemes for efficient energy deposition in weakly lossy targets is an ongoing challenge for many classical wave technologies relevant to next-generation telecommunications, long-range wireless power transfer, and electromagnetic warfare. In many circumstances these targets are embedded inside complicated enclosures which lack any type of (geometric or hidden) symmetry, such as complex networks, buildings, or vessels, where the hypersensitive nature of multiple interference paths challenges the viability of WFS protocols. We demonstrate the success of a general WFS scheme, based on coherent perfect absorption (CPA) electromagnetic protocols, by utilizing a network of coupled transmission lines with complex connectivity that enforces the absence of geometric symmetries. Our platform allows for control of the local losses inside the network and of the violation of time-reversal symmetry via a magnetic field; thus establishing CPA beyond its initial concept as the time-reversal of a laser cavity, while offering an opportunity for better insight into CPA formation via the implementation of semiclassical tools.


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