Effect of an optical negative index thin film on optical bistability

N M. Litchinitser, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan
I R. Gabitov, Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona
A I. Maimistov, Department of Solid State Physics, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute
V. M. Shalaev, Birck Nanotechnology Center and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University

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We investigate nonlinear transmission in a layered structure consisting of a slab of positive index material with Kerr-type nonlinearity and a subwavelength layer of linear negative index material (NIM) sandwiched between semi-infinite linear dielectrics. We find that a thin layer of NIM leads to significant changes in the hysteresis width when the nonlinear slab is illuminated at an angle near that of total internal reflection. Unidirectional diodelike transmission with enhanced operational range is demonstrated. These results may be useful for NIMs characterization and for designing novel NIMs-based devices.