Inverse-design of non-Hermitian potentials for on-demand asymmetric reflectivity

Waqas Waseem Ahmed, Ramon Herrero, Muriel Botey, Ying Wu, Kestutis Staliunas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We propose a genetic algorithm-assisted inverse design approach to achieve ‘ondemand’ light transport in periodic and non-periodic planar structures containing dielectric and gain-loss layers. The optimization algorithm efficiently produces non-Hermitian potentials from any arbitrarily given real (or imaginary) permittivity distribution for the desired frequency selective and broadband asymmetric reflectivity. Indeed, we show that the asymmetric response is directly related to the area occupied by the obtained permittivity distribution in the complex plane. In particular, unidirectional light reflection can be designed in such a way that it switches from left to right (or vice versa) depending on the operating frequency. Moreover, such controllable unidirectional reflectivity is realized using a stack of dielectric layers while keeping the refractive index and gain-loss within realistic values. We believe this proposal will benefit the integrated photonics with frequency selective one-way communication.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17001
JournalOptics Express
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 18 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-05-27
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1626-01-01, OSR-2016-CRG5-2950)
Acknowledgements: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Artificial Intelligence Initiative Fund, BAS/1/1626-01-01, OSR-2016-CRG5-2950); European Social Fund (09.3.3-LMT-K712–17-0016); Research Council of Lithuiania (LMTLT); Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (PID2019-109175GB-C21).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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