Three-Dimensional Electromagnetic Void Space

Changqing Xu, Hongchen Chu, Jie Luo, Zhi Hong Hang, Ying Wu, Yun Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Electromagnetic void space is a medium, while geometrically occupying a finite volume of space, optically equivalent to an infinitesimal point, in which electromagnetic waves do not experience any phase accumulation. Here, we report the first realization of three-dimensional (3D) electromagnetic void space by an all-dielectric photonic crystal possessing vanishing permittivity and permeability simultaneously. The 3D electromagnetic void space offers distinctive functionalities inaccessible to its 2D or acoustic counterparts because of the fundamental changes in topology, which comes from the ascension of dimensionality as well as the transverse nature of electromagnetic waves. In particular, we demonstrate, both theoretically and experimentally, that the transmission through such a 3D void space is unaffected by its inner boundaries, but highly sensitive to the outer boundaries. This enables many applications such as the impurity “antidoping” effect, outer-boundary-controlled switching, and 3D perfect wave steering. Our work paves a road toward 3D exotic optics of an optically infinitesimal point.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 17 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-09-20
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1626-01-01, OSR-2016-CRG5-2950
Acknowledgements: We thank Professor Sajeev John for helpful discussions. The work described in here is partially supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Grant No. OSR-2016-CRG5-2950 and KAUST Baseline Research Fund BAS/1/1626-01-01. Y. L., J. L. and Z. H. H. were supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2020YFA0211300) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants No. 11974176, No. 12174188, No. 11874274 and No. 11634005).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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