Mattiucci N.,Charles M Bowden Research Facility |
D'Aguanno G.,Charles M Bowden Research Facility |
Akozbek N.,Charles M Bowden Research Facility |
Scalora M.,Charles M Bowden Research Facility |
Bloemer M.J.,Charles M Bowden Research Facility
Optics Communications | Year: 2010
Classical theory of crystals states that a medium to be considered homogeneous must satisfy the following requirements (a) the dimension of the elementary cell must be much smaller than the incident wavelength; (b) the sample must contain a large number of elementary cells, i.e. it must be macroscopic with respect to wavelength. Under these conditions, macroscopic quantities can be introduced in order to describe the optical response of the medium. We analytically demonstrate that for a symmetric elementary cell those requirements can be relaxed, and it is possible to assign a permittivity and a permeability to a composite structure, even if the metamaterial cannot be considered homogeneous under the requirements stated above. However, the effective permittivity and permeability in some cases may give rise to unphysical, effective behaviors inside the medium, notwithstanding the fact that they satisfy requirements like being Kramers-Kronig pairs, for example, and are consistent with all the linear properties outside the structure (i.e. reflection, transmission, and absorption at all frequencies). In some situations the medium is assigned a magnetic response even though the medium is not magnetically active. In particular, we demonstrate that the homogenization procedure can lead to a medium that locally violates the second principle of thermodynamics. We also show that, in the non-homogeneous regime, it is not possible to describe the nonlinear behavior of the structure using an effective parameters approach, despite the possibility to assign an effective linear refractive index. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.