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Electrodynamic modeling of strong coupling between a metasurface and intersubband transitions in quantum wells


Strong light-matter coupling has recently been demonstrated in subwavelength volumes by coupling engineered optical transitions in semiconductor heterostructures (e.g., quantum wells) to metasurface resonances via near fields. It has also been shown that different resonator shapes may lead to different Rabi splittings, though this has not yet been well explained. In this paper, our aim is to understand the correlation between resonator shape and Rabi splitting, in particular to determine and quantify the physical parameters that affect strong coupling by developing an equivalent circuit network model whose elements describe energy and dissipation. Because of the subwavelength dimension of each metasurface element, we resort to the quasistatic (electrostatic) description of the near field and hence define an equivalent capacitance associated to each dipolar element of a flat metasurface. We show that this is also able to accurately model the phenomenology involved in strong coupling between the metasurface and the intersubband transitions in quantum wells. We show that the spectral properties and stored energy of a metasurface/quantum-well system obtained using our model are in good agreement with both full-wave simulation and experimental results. We then analyze metasurfaces made of three resonator geometries and observe that the magnitude of the Rabi splitting increases with the resonator capacitance in agreement with our theory, providing a phenomenological explanation for the resonator shape dependence of the strong coupling process. © 2014 American Physical Society.

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